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A Commentary and Summary of the 
New Code of Canon Law 


With a Preface by 

Professor of Canon Law at the Catholic University, 

New Edition, Augmented by Recent Decrees 
and Declarations 






Minister Provincialis 
JULY 1, 1918 


Censor Librorum 



Archbishop of New York 

NEW YORK, JULY 3, 1918 

Copyright, 1918, by JOSEPH F. WAGNER, Xew York 


For several months past the articles by Father Stanislaus 
Woywod in the Ecclesiastical Review have informed the 
clergy of the most important features of the new Code of 
Canon Law. The same author now gives to the public a 
Summary and Commentary of the whole Code. As the 
present volume is published mainly with a view of the needs 
of the clergy engaged in the care of souls, the bulk of the 
book has been kept as compact as possible; wherefore in such 
places only where explanation and comment seemed neces 
sary they have been given, and in as brief a form as possible. 
Chapters which are not needed by every priest have been 
mentioned only with few words and en passant, as it were. 
The fourth and the fifth Book have been summed up very 
briefly, giving the most important points of legislation con 
tained therein. A very complete Index will make it easy to 
find any desired point of law. 

We heartily congratulate Father Woywod on the good 
work and trust that the clergy of the United States will be 
pleased to find in this volume a welcome means of acquiring 
the necessary knowledge of the new legislation of the 


Professor of Canon Law at the Catholic University 
Washington, D. C. 


When on May the twenty-seventh, 1917, a new* Codex Juris 
Canonici was promulgated by Papal Bull, this memorable event 
marked the happy conclusion of a revision of the Code of Law 
for the Catholic Church which had taken thirteen years of the 
most painstaking work on the part of a large number of erudite 
scholars and specialists in Canon Law. The new Code is truly 
a monumental work, the magnitude of which will be apparent 
when thought is given to the truly gigantic task of revising and 
coordinating all the existing Church laws, including the laws of 
all ages since the times of the primitive Church, eliminating all 
those that have dropped out of use, or that have been revoked or 
suspended in the course of the centuries. Never before in the 
history of the Church was such a compilation on the same im 
mense scope attempted. During the Middle Ages various Popes 
caused official collections made of laws that had been enacted 
within a limited period of years, but never before was the entire 
legislation of the Church unified and codified as it has now been 
done in the new Codex. 

The Papal Bull decreed that the new book of law was to go 
into effect on Whitsunday, May the nineteenth, 1918. The period 
of time allowed before a new law after its official promulgation 
goes into force is known in the terminology of Canon Law as the 
vacatio legis. Canonists have generally held that for all laws pro 
mulgated by the Holy See two months time is granted before in 
places outside the City of Rome the obligation of observing the 
law begins. For very remote countries even a longer time has 
been conceded, in order to let the knowledge of the law become 
sufficiently disseminated to make its enforcement possible. In 
more recent times the Holy See has in important laws frequently 
specified the period of the vacatio legis, as for instance in the case 
of the decree Ne Tenure which was published about eight months 
before it was to be enforced. The general principle, however, 
valid in civil law as well as in Canon Law, is that it is the duty 
of subjects to keep themselves informed through the ordinary 
channels of information, as, for instance, official magazines and 
papers, what laws, amendments, decisions, etc., have been enacted 


by the authorities. It is not necessary, hence, that the bishop an 
nounce to his clergy the laws and regulations passed by the su 
preme authority of the Church, nor can it be said that this is his 
duty, though for uniformity of action on part of the clergy of a 
diocese it is advantageous that the bishop announce to his priests 
the important new laws with direction to make them known on 
one and the same day to the people throughout the diocese. 

The purpose of the new Codex is, to supersede all existing 
collections of papal laws, whether contained in the various official 
compilations published with the special approval of former 
Popes, or in the volumes of decrees and declarations published by 
the various Roman Congregations, or, finally, in the many exist 
ing private collections of papal laws. Only in those instances in 
which the new Code expressly declares that a former law on a 
specified subject is to be retained, are former laws to continue in 
force. Instances of this kind are discussed in the course of the 
present volume. 

The benefit of the new Code is inestimable, and it will go far 
toward unifying and strengthening the activities of the Church, 
by effecting a more uniform course of action in all the important 
details of the Church s life. Let no one, however, labor under 
the impression that the Code means the legislation of the Supreme 
Head of the Catholic Church has now come to an end. An or 
ganization like the Catholic Church, living and laboring in the 
great, wide world, and guiding millions of people of all races in 
the way of truth, must needs adapt her work to the ever-changing 
conditions of peoples and times. The present Code, therefore, is 
not, and cannot be, the final law in all and everything, for, in as 
much as Canon Law is the regulation of the activities of the 
Church, and since these activities are changing and developing 
with the gradual progress of civilization, new amendments, deci 
sions, declarations concerning the meaning of some of the laws, 
and exceptions and particular regulations to fit the exceptional 
conditions of particular countries or dioceses, must naturally be 
expected. The Holy Father has, however, provided (Motu Pro- 
prio, Sept. 15, 1917; Ada Ap. Sed. f vol. IX, pag. 483) that any 
and all new laws, as well as the possible repeal of some Canons of 
the new Code, also any interpretative declarations, etc., issued 
either by the Supreme Pontiff himself or by one of the Sacred 
Congregations, shall be turned over to a committee whose duty it 
will be to formulate the new laws, etc,, into Canons, and to insert 


them in the Code in their proper places, so that the Code may for 
all times remain the one, authoritative and complete lawbook of 
the Church. 

The canonist will note the difference in the arrangement of 
matter in the new Code from the order followed in former collec 
tions of Canon Law. Previous collections were, as a rule, divided 
into five books, in the order of : judex, judicium, clems, connubia, 
crimen, whereas the five books of the present Code are : Lib. I., 
Normae generates; Lib. II., De Personis; Lib. III., De Rebus; 
Lib. IV., De Processibus; Lib. V., De Delictis et Poenis. Refer 
ence to the laws has been made easy by short Canons, or para 
graphs, numbered consecutively from beginning to end of the 
Code, two thousand four hundred and fourteen Canons in all, so 
that the number of the Canon suffices to enable one to find a cer 
tain law, no matter in what book, or under what title, this law 
may be placed. 

The purpose of our present volume on the new Code is, 
mainly, to give the clergy engaged in parish work in a handy 
volume all that which is of practical importance for them in their 
daily life, in the exercise of their sacred duties that must be 
guided by the laws of our Holy Mother Church. Prolonged dis 
cussion and lengthy comparison with former law, such as might 
appeal to the student who has no other duties but his studies to 
attend to, are avoided in this volume. Such discussion and com 
parison will find proper place in a complete and thorough Com 
mentary on the Code which the author has under consideration 
for future publication. 

In arranging the subject-matter of this book we have faith 
fully adhered to the order of the new Code, in deference to the 
Holy Father s desire that no one introduce an arrangement differ 
ing from the Code. 


On the Feast of St. Bonaventure, D.S., July 14, 1918. 






Title I Principles of Ecclesiastical Laws 3 

Title II Customs 7 

Title III Manner of Reckoning Time 8 

Title IV Rescripts 10 

Title V Privileges 13 

Title VI Dispensations 15 



Section I The Clergy in General 22 

Title I Manner of Ascribing the Clergy to a Diocese 22 

Title II The Rights and Privileges of Clerics 23 

Title III Obligations of Clerics 25 

Title IV Ecclesiastical Offices 29 

Title V Ordinary and Delegated Jurisdiction 30 

Title VI Reduction of Clerics to the State of the Laity 34 

Section II Clerics Individually 35 

Title VII The Supreme Authority and Those who by Law Share 

in it 36 

Chapter I The Roman Pontiff 36 

Chapter II The General Council 37 

Chapter III The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church 38 

Chapter IV The Roman Curia 41 

Article I The Roman Congregations 42 

Article II The Tribunals of the Roman Curia 46 

Article III Offices of the Roman Curia 46 

Chapter V Legates of the Roman Pontiff 47 

Chapter VI Patriarchs, Primates, Metropolitans 48 

Chapter VII Plenary and Provincial Councils 49 

Chapter VIII Vicars and Prefects Apostolic 51 

Chapter IX Administrators Apostolic 51 

Chapter X Inferior Prelates 52 

Title VIII Episcopal Jurisdiction and Participants of the Same 53 

Chapter I Bishops 53 

Chapter II Coadjutors and Auxiliary Bishops 59 

Chapter III The Diocesan Synod 61 

Chapter IV The Diocesan Curia 62 

Article I The Vicar General 63 

Article II The Chancellor, Other Notaries, the Episcopal Archives.. 65 

Article III Synodal Examiners and Parochial Consultors 67 




Chapter V Chapters of Canons 68 

Chapter VI Dioctsan Consultors 68 

Chapter VII Obstruction in the Government, Vacancy of the Epis 
copal See, the Vicar Capitular 69 

Chapter VIII Deans 72 

Chapter IX Pastors 74 

Chapter X Parochial Vicars 80 

Chapter XI Rectors of Churches 83 


Title IX Erection and Suppression of a Religious Organization, 

of a Province, or a House 87 

Title X The Government of Religious Organizations 89 

Chapter I Superiors and Chapters 89 

Chapter II Confessors and Chaplains 94 

Chapter III Temporal Goods and Their Administration 98 

Title XI Admission Into a Religious Community 100 

Chapter I Postulate 101 

Chapter II Novitiate 101 

Article I Conditions for Admission 101 

Article II Education of the Novices 106 

Chapter III Religious Profession 1 1 1 

Title XII Studies in Clerical Religious Communities 115 

Title XIII Duties and Privileges of Religious 117 

Chapter I Duties 117 

Chapter II Privileges of the Religious 122 

Chapter III Duties and Privileges of a Religious Promoted to an 

Ecclesiastical Dignity, or to Rectorship of a Parish 124 

Title XIV Transition to Another Order 127 

Title XV Departure from Religious Life 128 

Title XVI Dismissal of Religious 131 

Chapter I Dismissal of Religious with Temporary Vows 131 

Chapter II Dismissal of Religious with Perpetual Vows in Non- 
exempt Clerical and in All Laical Organizations 132 

Chapter III The Canonical Trial in the Dismissal of Religious with 
Perpetual or Solemn Vows in a Clerical Exempt Religious Or 
ganization 134 

Chapter IV Dismissed Religious Who Had Taken Perpetual Vows. . 136 
Title XVII Societies of Men or Women Leading a Community 

Life Without Vows t 138 

PART III : THE LAITY. . ... . 139 

Title XVIII General Regulations for Associations of the Faithful.. 140 

Title XIX Particular Regulations for Associations of the Faithful.. 143 

Chapter I Third Orders Secular 144 

Chapter II Confraternities and Pious Unions 145 

Chapter III Archconfraternities and Primary Unions 147 



Title IBaptism 151 



Chapter I The Minister of Baptism 151 

Chapter II The Subject of Baptism 152 

Chapter III The Rites and Ceremonies of Baptism 154 

Chapter IV Sponsors 156 

Chapter V Time and Place of Baptism 15? 

Chapter VI Recording and Proof of Baptism 158 

Title II Confirmation 159 

Chapter I The Minister of Confirmation 159 

Chapter II The Subject of Confirmation 160 

Chapter III Time and Place of Confirmation 161 

Chapter IV The Sponsors 161 

Chapter V Record and Proof of Confirmation 162 

Title III The Blessed Eucharist 162 

Chapter I The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 163 

Article I The Celebrant 163 

Article II The Rites and Ceremonies of Holy Mass 165 

Article HI Time and Place of Holy Mass 165 

Article IV The Alms or Stipends of Masses 166 

Chapter II The Blessed Sacrament 170 

Article I The Minister of Holy Communion 170 

Article II The Recipient of Holy Communion 171 

Article III Time and Place for the Distribution of Holy Com 
munion 174 

Title IV The Sacrament of Penance 175 

Chapter I The Minister of the Sacrament of Penance 175 

Chapter II Reservation of Sins 179 

Chapter III The Subject of the Sacrament of Penance 182 

Chapter IV The Place Where Confessions are Heard 183 

Chapter V Indulgences 183 

Article I Concession of Indulgences 183 

Article II Manner of Gaining Indulgences 186 

Title V Extreme Unction 188 

Chapter I The Minister of Extreme Unction 188 

Chapter II The Recipient of Extreme Unction 189 

Chapter III The Rites and Ceremonies of Extreme Unction 189 

Title VI The Sacrament of Orders 190 

Chapter I The Minister of Sacred Ordination 190 

Chapter II The Subject of Sacred Ordination 194 

Article I Requisites for Candidates of Ordination 194 

Article II Irregularities and Other Impediments 197 

Chapter III Requisites Prior to the Ordination 200 

Chapter IV The Rites and Ceremonies of Ordination 203 

Chapter V Time and Place of Ordination 203 

Chapter VI Record and Testimonial of Ordination 204 

Title VII The Sacrament of Marriage 205 

Chapter I Requisites Before Marriage and Especially the Banns 206 

Chapter II Impediments in General 209 

Chapter III Impedient Impediments 214 

Chapter IV Diriment Impediments , . , . 216 



Chapter V The Matrimonial Consent 219 

Chapter VI Form of the Marriage Contract 221 

Chapter VII The Marriage of Conscience 225 

Chapter VIII Time and Place of Marriage 226 

Chapter IX Consequences of Marriage 226 

Chapter X Separation of Married People 227 

Article I Dissolution of the Marriage Bond 227 

Article II Separation from Bed and Board 230 

Chapter XI Validation of Marriage 231 

Article I Simple Validation 231 

Article II Sanatio in Radice 232 

Chapter XII Second Marriage 233 

Title VIII The Sacramentals 233 


Section I Sacred Places 234 

Title IX Churches 235 

Title X Oratories 242 

Title XI Altars 243 

Title XII Ecclesiastical Burial 245 

Chapter I Cemeteries 245 

Chapter II Transfer of the Body to Church, Funeral Services and 

Internment 247 

Chapter III Persons to Whom Ecclesiastical Burial Must Be Granted 

or Denied 253 

Section II Sacred Seasons 254 

Title XIII Holidays of Obligation 255 

Title XIV Fast and Abstinence 255 


Title XV The Keeping and Cult of the Blessed Sacrament 259 

Title XVI The Cult of the Saints, of Sacred Images and Relics.... 262 

Title XVII Sacred Processions 265 

Title XVIII Sacred Utensils 266 

Title XIX Vow and Oath 269 

Chapter I Vow 269 

Chapter II Oath 270 


Title XX Preaching of the Word of God 273 

Chapter I Catechetical Instruction 273 

Chapter II Sacred Preaching 274 

Chapter III Sacred Missions 277 

Title XXI Seminaries 278 

Title XXII Catholic Schools 283 

Title XXIII Censorship and Prohibition of Books 285 

Chapter I Censorship of Books 285 

Chapter II Prohibition of Books 287 

Title XXIV Profession of Faith 290 




Title XXV Ecclesiastical Benefices 292 

Chapter I Constitution or Erection of Benefices 293 

Chapter II Union, Transfer, Division, Dismembration, Conversion 

and Suppression of Benefices 294 

Chapter III Conferring of Benefices 298 

Chapter IV The Right of Patronage 298 

Chapter V Rights and Duties of Beneficiaries 299 

Chapter VI Resignation of Benefices 299 

Title XXVI Other Non-Collegiate Institutes of the Church 300 


Title XXVII Acquisition of Ecclesiastical Goods 302 

Title XXVIII The Administration of Ecclesiastical Goods 306 

Title XXIX Contracts 309 

Title XXX Pious Foundations 312 



Section I Trials in General 316 

Section II Special Rules to be Observed in Certain Specified Trials. 316 

Title XVIII Manner of Avoiding Canonical Trial 316 

Chapter I Transaction 316 

Chapter II Compromise by Arbitration 317 

Title XIX Criminal Trials 318 

Chapter I Accusation and Denunciation 318 

Chapter II Inquisition 319 

Chapter III Reprimand of the Delinquent 321 

Chapter IV Construction of the Criminal Trial and Summons of 

the Offender 322 

Title XX Matrimonial Cases 323 

Chapter I Competent Forum 323 

Chapter II Constitution of the Tribunal 324 

Chapter III Right to Accuse a Marriage and to Ask the Dispen 
sation from the Matrimonium Ratum 325 

Chapter IV Proofs 326 

Article I Witnesses 326 

Article II Bodily Inspection 326 

Chapter V Publication of the Trial, Conclusion of the Case, and 

Sentence 327 

Chapter VI Appeals 328 

Chapter VII Cases Excepted from the Foregoing Rules 329 

Title XXI Cases Against Sacred Ordination 330 




Title XXVII Manner of Procedure in the Removal of Irremovable 

Pastors 333 

Title XXVIII Manner of Procedure in Depriving Removable Pas 
tors of Their Parish 335 



Title XXIX Manner of Procedure in the Transfer of Pastors 336 

Title XXX Manner of Procedure Against Clerics Not Observing 
the Law of Residence 337 

Title XXXI Manner of Procedure Against Clerics Living in Con 
cubinage 339 

Title XXXII Manner of Procedure Against a Pastor Who is 
Negligent in the Fulfilment of the Pastoral Duties 340 

Title XXXIII Manner of Procedure for Infliction of the Suspen 
sion Ex Informata Conscientia 340 



Title I Nature and Division of Offences 343 

Title II Imputability of an Offence, Causes Which Aggravate or 

Diminish It, and Juridical Effects of an Offence 344 

Title III Attempted Crime 347 


Section I Penalties in General 348 

Title IV Definition, Species, Interpretation and Application of 

Penalties 348 

Title V Superiors Having Coercive Power 350 

Title VI Persons Subject to the Coercive Power 352 

Title VII Pardon of Penalties 355 

Section II Penalties in Particular 356 

Title VIII Corrective Penalties of Censures 35^ 

Chapter I Censures in General 356 

Chapter II Censures in Particular 361 

Article I Excommunication 362 

Article II Interdict 365 

Article III Suspension 367 

Title IX Punitive Penalties 37O 

Chapter I Common Punitive Penalties 371 

Chapter II Punitive Penalties Special to the Clergy 373 

Title X Penal Remedies and Penances 375 

Chapter I Penal Remedies 375 

Chapter II Penances 377 


Chapter I Penalties Incurred Ipso Facto (Latae Sentential 378 

Chapter II Penalties Ferendae Sententiae 385 

APPENDIX : New Decrees and Declarations regarding the ELECTIONS IN 



General Principles of Canon Law 

1. It is stated in the first Canon of the Code that its 
laws are obligatory only for Catholics of the Latin Rite, 
except in those points which of their very nature affect also 
the Oriental Church. This ruling is not new, it has obtained 
for many centuries. On account of the great difference in 
manners and customs between the peoples of the East and 
those of Europe, and of countries christianized by mission 
aries of the Latin Rite, the Holy See wisely modifies for the 
Oriental Church some laws in accordance with requirements. 
A special Congregation for the Orientals has been estab 
lished at Rome to regulate the affairs of the Catholics of 
the various Oriental Rites. The laws on points of faith and 
morals, however, of their very nature bind all Catholics in 
union with the See of St. Peter, for in principles of faith and 
morals all who wish to be members of the Catholic Church 
can acknowledge but one guide, viz., the infallible teaching 
authority of the Supreme Pastor and his colleagues, the 
bishops, in unison with their head. (Canon 1.) 

2. All liturgical laws heretofore decreed for the cele 
bration of Holy Mass, for the Divine office and other sacred 
functions, retain their force, except those that are explicitly 
corrected in the Code. (Canon 2.) 

3. Special agreements or concordats made between 
certain nations and the Holy See are not changed by the 
Code. (Canon 3.) 

4. Acquired rights, privileges and indults which have 
been granted by the Holy See to individuals or organiza 
tions, if they are still in use and have not been revoked, 
remain in force unless they are explicitly abrogated in the 
Code. (Canon 4.) 

5. Now existing immemorial customs, both particular 
and universal, at variance with these Canons are abolished 


if the Code explicitly disapproves of them. Centenary and 
immemorial customs not disapproved by the Code may be 
tolerated, if the bishop judges that they cannot prudently 
be abolished. Customs disapproved by the Code are to be 
considered corruptions of the law and can never in future 
revive and obtain the force of law. Ordinary customs at 
variance with the laws of the Code are to be considered 
suppressed, unless the Code explicitly states otherwise. 
(Canon 5.) 

6. 1. As regards laws published prior to the Code, the 
general rule is that all former laws, whether particular (for 
instance, for a certain country, for a Religious Order, etc.) 
or universal, that conflict with the laws of the Code, are 
abolished, unless the Code explicitly rules otherwise in refer 
ence to any special law. (Canon 6, 1.) 

2. Canons of the Code that restate former laws exactly 
as they were before, must be interpreted according to the 
approved and accepted interpretation of commentators on 
the old law. Canons which agree only in part with the 
former law are to be interpreted like the former law in the 
points in which they agree; but in the points in which the 
new law differs from the former they must be judged by 
their wording and context. When it is doubtful whether 
a law of the new Code differs from the old law, one must 
not deviate from the former law. (Canon 6, 2, 3, 4.) 

3. All former ecclesiastical punishments, whether 
spiritual or temporal, corrective or punitive, latae or ferendae 
sententiae, of which the Code makes no mention, are held to 
be abolished. (Canon 6, 5.) 

4. All other disciplinary laws which have been in force 
up to the present time cease to be binding, unless they are 
explicitly or implicitly contained in the Code. The laws 
contained in the approved liturgical books, however, remain 
in force. This part of the Canon refers to the common law 
of the Church, for the Code states in Canon 22 that par 
ticular laws, namely for dioceses, individual countries, Or 
ders, are to remain in force unless they are opposed to the 
laws of the Code. (Canon 6, 6.) (By declaration of the 
S. Congregation of the Holy Office, March 22, 1918, the 
rules and regulations concerning the oath against Modernism 


prescribed by Pope Pius X., of happy memory, are to remain 
in force until such time when the Holy See shall otherwise 
ordain. Acta Apost. Sedis, vol. X, pag. 136.) 

7. By the term "Apostolic See" or "Holy See," wher 
ever it occurs in the Code, is meant not only the Roman 
Pontiff but also, unless the context proves the contrary, the 
Sacred Congregations, the Roman Tribunals and Offices, 
through which the same Roman Pontiff does usually trans 
act the affairs concerning the universal Church, (Canon 7.) 


Principles of Ecclesiastical Laws. 

8. The laws are instituted when they are promulgated. 
A law is not presumed to be personal but rather territorial 
unless the law indicates that it is to be considered personal. 
In the common law of the Church it makes little difference 
whether a law is personal or territorial, but in particular 
laws for dioceses or countries the distinction is important 
for the reason that the law, if territorial, does not bind out 
side the limits of the diocese or country. (Canon 8.) 

9. The laws issued by the Holy See are promulgated 
by being published in the official magazine of the Holy See, 
the Acta Apostolicae Sedis f unless a special mode of promul 
gation should be prescribed in special cases. The laws do 
not begin to bind in conscience until three months from the 
date of the number of the magazine containing the law have 
elapsed, unless the nature of the law is such that its imme 
diate enforcement is evident, or the law itself should pro 
vide a longer or shorter period of "vacation." (Canon 9.) 

10. Laws concern future actions and not those done 
before the law was made, unless they make special mention 
of past actions. (Canon 10.) 

11. Those laws only are to be considered invalidating 
or inhabilitating which explicitly or equivalently state that 
an action is null and void, or that a person is incapable of 
acting. (Canon 11.) 

12. Unbaptized persons are not held to laws which 
are purely Church laws, nor baptized persons who have not 
a sufficient use of their mind, nor children under seven years 


of age though they may have sufficient knowledge and judg 
ment, unless the law does in some instances declare the 
latter to be held to its observance. (Canon 12.) The word 
purely is to be emphasized in this Canon, because laws which 
are an explanation or application of the natural or the posi 
tive Divine law bind every human being as soon as there is 
sufficient understanding of the law and consequent respon 
sibility, apart from any definite age. Wherefore also the 
Committee for the Interpretation of the Code answered the 
Bishop of Valleyfield, January 3, 1918, that children who 
had the sufficient use of their reason before seven years of 
age were held to make their Easter duty even before they 
were seven years of age. (Eccl. Review, March 1918, pag. 

13. The general laws of the Church bind all persons for 
whom they are issued anywhere in the world. Laws issued 
for a particular territory, e. g., a diocese or a nation, bind 
those persons who have a domicile or a quasi-domicile in that 
territory and actually live there. For those who are absent 
from their own place for a while the following Canon pro 
vides. (Canon 13.) 

14. Those persons who have a domicile or quasi-domi 
cile but are for a time staying in another place are called in 
law "peregrini." They are not held to the observance of the 
particular laws of their own diocese or country while absent 
unless the transgression of these regulations causes some 
harm in their own place, or in case the laws are personal. 
They are not held to the particular laws of the diocese or 
country in which they are travelling with the exception of 
those laws that concern public order or determine the for 
malities of legal transactions. They are, however, bound to 
observe the general laws of the Church, even those that have 
been abolished for their own place. Thus, for instance, an 
American travelling in Europe is bound to observe the holi 
days of obligation, fasts, etc., that may by papal indult have 
been abolished in America. On the other hand, the peregri- 
nus enjoys the dispensations from the general law in the 
country where he actually stays, even though there are no 
such dispensations granted to the diocese or country where 
he ordinarily resides. Those who have neither a domicile 


nor a quasi-domicile in any place are called vagi. They are 
bound to observe both the general and the particular laws 
that are in force in the place where they actually stay. 
(Canon 14.) 

15. All laws, even those that invalidate an action or in- 
habilitate a person to act, do not oblige in doubt of law (du- 
bium juris) ; in a doubt of fact (dubium facti) the Ordinary 
may dispense, provided there is question of laws from which 
the Roman Pontiff usually dispenses. (Canon 15.) 

16. No ignorance of invalidating or inhabilitating laws 
excuses unless the law explicitly admits ignorance as an ex 
cuse. Likewise ignorance or error is not presumed when it 
concerns the law or its penalty, or one s own action, or the 
notorious action of another; concerning the non-notorious 
action of another, ignorance is presumed until the contrary is 
proved. This rule applies mostly to cases where the delin 
quent is brought to court for the transgression of a law. How 
far ignorance of the censure attached to the violation of a 
law excuses is specified in Canon 2229. (Canon 16.) 

17. Laws are authoritatively interpreted by the law 
giver and by those to whom the power of interpreting has 
been committed. Authoritative interpretation of a law given 
in the form of law has the same force as the law itself. If 
such authoritative interpretation merely declares the mean 
ing of the words of law that are certain, the interpretation 
does not need a new promulgation and reacts on past actions ; 
if the interpretation restricts, or extends, the law or explains 
a doubtful point of the law, it does not react on past actions 
and is regarded like a new law, so that it must be promulgated 
in order to have binding force. An interpretation of the law 
given by way of a judicial sentence, or by a rescript in some 
special case, has not the force of law and binds only the per 
sons and affects only those matters for which it was issued. 
(Canon 17.) 

18. Ecclesiastical laws must be interpreted according 
to the proper meaning of the terms of the law considered in 
their context. If that meaning remains obscure, one must 
have recourse to parallel citations of the Code if there are 
any, or to the purpose and circumstances and the intention 
of the law-maker. (Canon 18.) 


19. Laws that establish a penalty or restrict the free 
exercise of one s rights, or establish an exception from the 
law must be interpreted in a strict sense. It has always been 
an axiom of interpretation of Canon Law that odious laws 
are to be explained in such a sense as not to unduly extend 
them to cases not strictly covered by the words of the law, 
while in favorable laws a more benign interpretation is al 
lowed. (Canon 19.) 

20. If there is no definite rule of law, neither in the 
general nor in the particular law, concerning some affair, a 
norm of action may be taken from laws given in similar cases, 
from the general principles of law applied with the mildness 
proper to Canon Law, from the manner and custom of 
handling similar cases in the Roman Curia, and from the 
common and accepted teaching of doctors. In the applica 
tion of penalties, however, this liberal interpretation must 
not be adopted. (Canon 20.) 

21. Laws made in order to safeguard the faithful 
against what is commonly dangerous, oblige even though 
in a particular case there is no danger. An example of this 
kind is the law of the Church forbidding bad books of va 
rious kinds. Though there may positively be no danger 
for some particular individual to read such a book, he is not 
thereby entitled to read it unless he has obtained a dispen 
sation from the law. (Canon 21.) 

22. A more recent law given by the competent author 
ity abolishes a former law when it explicitly makes a state 
ment to that effect, or when it is directly contrary to the 
former law, or, finally, when it takes up and readjusts the 
entire subject matter of the law. A general law, however, 
does not abolish laws for particular places or the statutes 
of inferior legislators, e. g., of bishops, unless the general 
law is either directly opposed to the special law, or the gen 
eral law explicitly revokes the particular law. The Code, 
therefore, does not abolish the decrees of National and Pro 
vincial Councils, nor diocesan statutes, rules and constitu 
tions of Orders, except in as far as they may in some points 
be against the Canons, or in points where the Code ex 
plicitly states that notwithstanding particular laws the Code 
is to be followed. (Canon 22.) 


23. In a doubt whether the former law has been re 
voked the repeal of the law is not to be presumed, but the 
more recent law is to be, as far as possible, conciliated with 
the former law, so that one may supplement the other. 
(Canon 23.) 

24. Precepts given to individuals bind them wherever 
they go, but they cannot be urged in a canonical trial, and 
they expire with the expiration of authority of the one im 
posing the precept, unless they are given in the form of a 
legal document, or before two witnesses. (Canon 24.) 



25. In order that a custom may assume the force of 
law in the Church, it must receive the consent of the com 
petent ecclesiastical superior. (Canon 25.) 

26. Only those communities (dioceses, Religious Or 
ders, etc.) that are capable of (receiving) laws, that is to say, 
governed by laws, can introduce customs that have the force 
of law. (Canon 26.) 

27. No custom can abrogate or modify the Divine law, 
either positive or natural. In order that a contrary custom 
may have the power to change Church laws, it must be 
(1.) reasonable, and (2.), lawfully prescribed by a con 
tinuous and uninterrupted usage of at least forty years du 
ration. (In the forme rlaw the period of time required for 
usages to obtain the force of law was not definitely speci 
fied, wherefore there was a great diversity of opinion of 
canonists on this point. The majority of authors conceded 
that the period of ten years was sufficient, provided the 
other conditions were present, to abolish a law by contrary 
custom. The new Code demands forty years for any custom 
either contra or praeter jus to become law.) 

Against a law of the Church which contains a clause 
forbidding contrary customs for the future, only a reasonable 
custom that is either immemorial or of a hundred years 
standing can obtain the force of law. A custom which is ex 
plicitly disapproved in law is not considered reasonable. 
(Canon 27.) 


28. Customs praeter jus, that is to say, such usages as 
are not against a law, but outside it, and which have been 
knowingly introduced by a community with the intention 
of binding itself, become law if they are reasonable and 
lawfully prescribed by forty continuous and complete years. 
(Canon 28.) 

29. Custom is the best interpreter of laws. (Canon 29.) 

30. With the exception laid down in Canon 5, the 
general principle is that a custom against the law, or out 
side the law (praeter jus), is revoked by a contrary custom 
or a contrary law. A law does not, however, abrogate cen 
tenary or immemorial customs, nor does a general law 
abolish particular customs, unless the law specially men 
tions such customs. (Canon 30.) 

Manner of Reckoning Time. 

31. Apart from the liturgical laws, time is to be reck 
oned according to the following rules, unless the Canons 
explicitly prescribe an exception. (Canon 31.) 

32. A day consists of twenty-four consecutive hours, 
to be counted from midnight to midnight; and a week con 
sists of seven days. A month in law means a period of 
thirty days; a year, three hundred and sixty-five days, un 
less month and year are ordered to be taken according to 
the calendar. (Canon 32.) 

33. In reckoning the hours of the day the common 
custom of the place is to be observed, but in the private 
celebration of Holy Mass, in the private recitation of the 
Divine Office, in receiving Holy Communion, and in the ob 
servance of the law of fast and abstinence, one may follow 
also the local true time or the mean time, or the legal or 
any other of the several ways of marking time. Naturally, 
midday and midnight fall earlier or later as one travels 
East or West. For business purposes the local natural or 
true time is not practical, wherefore so-called Standard 
Time is followed in the United States, in which we have 
four zones, namely, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific 
Standard Time, each of the three latter marking a difference 


of one hour under the previous one. The difference between 
the standard and the local true time varies with the location 
of the towns and cities within the respective zones. Thus 
it may be twelve o clock midnight by Standard Time when 
according to the local true time it is only twenty minutes, 
or a quarter, to twelve. The Code gives us the benefit of 
the difference in the observance of the fast, the recitation 
of the Divine Office, etc. 

The time for determining the obligation arising from 
contracts is to be reckoned according to the rules of the 
civil law of each country, unless a special agreement has 
been made on this point. (Canon 33.) 

34. If the month or the year is designated in law by 
its proper name or its equivalent, for example, "the month 
of February," "the following year," they are taken as in the 

If the terminus a quo is neither implicitly nor explicitly 
assigned, for instance, suspension from the celebration of 
Holy Mass for a month or for two years, three months va 
cation in a year, and the like, the time is to be calculated 
from moment to moment; and if, as in the first example, 
the time is continuous, the month and the year are taken 
as in the calendar; if the period of time is intermittent, a 
week means seven days, a month thirty days and a year 
three hundred and sixty-five days. 

If the time consists of one or several months or years, 
one or several weeks, or several days, and the terminus a quo 
is explicitly or implicitly fixed, the following rules obtain : 
(1) the month and year are taken as in the calendar; (2) if 
the terminus a quo coincides with the beginning of the day, 
for example, two months vacation from the fifteenth of 
August, the first day shall be counted in the number of days 
and the time expires with the beginning of the last day of 
the same number; (3) if the terminus a quo does not coin 
cide with the beginning of the day, for instance, the four 
teenth year of age, the year of novitiate, eight days from the 
vacancy of a bishopric, ten days for appeal, etc., the first 
day shall not be counted and the time expires when the last 
day of the same number is ended; (4) if the month should 
not have the same number of days, for example, one month 
from the thirtieth of January, the time expires either with 


the beginning or the end of the last day of the month, as 
the case may be; (5) if there be question of actions of the 
same kind to be repeated at stated intervals, for instance, a 
three-year term from the taking of temporary vows to the 
taking of perpetual vows, three or more years between elec 
tions, etc., the time expires on the same day of the month 
on which the period began; but the new action may take 
place any time during the last day. The fact, therefore, that 
a profession took place early in the morning or late in the 
day does not oblige one to wait for the same hour for the 
renewal of vows. The same holds in case of elections, etc. 
(Canon 34.) 

35. The term tempus utlle means that the time for the 
exercise or prosecution of one s rights does not elapse if 
one was ignorant of the rights, or could not act at the time. 
The term tempus continuum in law means a space of time 
that does not suffer any suspension by reason of one s 
ignorance or impossibility to act. (Canon 35.) 



Canons 36-62 of this title state the general principles 
concerning rescripts by which the Holy See or other 
Ordinaries grant dispensations and various other favors. 

I shall direct attention to the most important points. 

36. Favors and dispensations of any kind granted by 
the Holy See avail even those who are under censure with 
the following exceptions : An excommumcatus vitandus, a 
person excommunicated by a condemnatory or declaratory 
sentence of the ecclesiastical judge, cannot validly receive 
any favor from the Holy See unless the papal rescript states 
that it shall be valid notwithstanding the excommunication 
of the recipient; the same rule applies to those personally in 
terdicted or suspended by sentence in the ecclesiastical 
court. (Canon 36.) 

37. Rescripts by which a favor is granted without 
requiring the ministry of an executor take effect from the 
moment that the rescript is issued; other rescripts from 
the time of execution. (Canon 38.) 


38. Conditions demanded in the rescripts are essential 
for their validity in such cases only where they are expressed 
by the particles, "si" "dummodo" or others of the same signifi 
cation. (Canon 39.) 

39. All rescripts are considered as given upon condi 
tion "si preces veritate nitantur" that the reasons given in 
the petition are based on truth. There are two exceptions 
to this rule: (1) Canon 45 states that a rescript given with 
the clause "motu proprio" is valid even though in the peti 
tion things are not explained that otherwise are demanded. 
If, however, the only motive reason under the plea of 
which the rescript is requested is false, the rescript is invalid 
with the exception (2) of dispensations from marriage im 
pediments of lesser degree, which are valid even though all 
reasons or motives advanced to obtain the dispensations^ 
are falsehoods. Canon 1042 explains which are impediments 
of lesser degree in marriage. (Canon 40.) Cf. Canon 1054. 

40. If one of the Roman Congregations or Offices 
refuses a favor asked of them, the same favor cannot be 
petitioned from and granted by any other of the Sacred 
Congregations, nor even by one s own bishop who may have 
delegated faculties, unless the Sacred Congregation of which 
the favor was first asked gives its consent. (Canon 43.) 

41. The granting of a favor that was first asked of and 
refused by the vicar general and later obtained from the 
bishop, without mentioning that application had been made 
first to the vicar general and refused, is invalid. A favor 
that has been refused by the bishop cannot validly be granted 
by the vicar general, even though the petitioner makes 
known to him the bishop s refusal. (Canon 44.) 

42. Rescripts are no longer considered invalid on 
account of an error in the name of the person to whom, or 
by whom, the favor is granted, or a mistake in the place of 
residence, or a mistake concerning the object of the con 
cession, so long as, in the prudent judgment of the bishop, 
there is no doubt concerning the identity of the person and 
the object of the favor. (Canon 47.) 

43. A rescript of the Apostolic See in which no execu 
tor is demanded need not be exhibited to the Ordinary of 
the person obtaining the document, except this is demanded 


in the document or there is question of public affairs e. g., 
publication of an indulgence granted to a church or place, 
or, finally, if a favor is granted for the use of which the 
bishop has a right to examine required conditions, e. g., a 
concession to keep the Blessed Sacrament, celebrate Holy 
Mass in a private oratory, etc., in which cases the law gives 
the bishop the right and the duty to see that the require 
ments of Canon Law are complied with. This Canon does 
not demand the presentation under pain of invalidity; unless, 
therefore, it is demanded in the rescript itself in terms im 
porting invalidity, the neglect to comply with the ruling 
of the present Canon would not invalidate the rescript, but 
such neglect is sinful. (Canon 51.) 

44. Rescripts must be understood according to the 
proper meaning of their words and the common usage of 
the language, and must not be extended to other cases be 
sides those expressly mentioned. (Canon 49.) 

45. When doubt arises as to the meaning of the words 
of a rescript those rescripts having reference to cases in 
court, or to matters which hurt the acquired right of others, 
or those that concede to a private individual favors contrary 
to the law, or, finally rescripts obtained for the purpose of 
securing an ecclesiastical benefice, must be strictly inter 
preted; all other rescripts may receive a benign interpre 
tation. (Canon 50.) 

46. If in a rescript the mere office of execution is com 
mitted to some one, e. g., bishop, confessor, the execution 
of the rescript cannot be refused, unless it is evident that 
the rescript is null and void on account of a lie, or of con 
cealing the truth, or if there are conditions demanded in the 
rescript which the executor knows have not been complied 
with by the recipient of the document, or the latter is in 
the judgment of the executor so unworthy of the favor that 
its concession would be a scandal to others. In the last 
mentioned circumstance the executor shall at once inform 
the official granting the rescript and in the meantime sus 
pend its execution. If in the rescript the granting of the 
favor is left to the executor, so that he is delegated to dis 
pense, he shall according to his own judgment and con 
science either grant or deny the favor. (Canon 54.) 


47. Favors granted through a rescript are not revoked 
by a contrary law, unless it is otherwise stated in the law, 
or unless the law was made by the superior of the grantor. 
(Canon 60.) 

48. Vacancy of the Holy See, or of the bishopric, does 
not invalidate rescripts given by the deceased pontiff or 
bishop, unless the terms of the rescript state otherwise, or 
unless the rescript gives power to a delegate to grant the 
favor to individuals specified in the document and the dele 
gate or executor had not begun to exercise his power before 
the death of the Pope or the bishop, as the case may be. 
As soon as the rescript has been presented to the individual 
so delegated the case is opened, and he can act even though 
the Pope or the bishop who granted the rescript should die 
or resign their office. (Canon 61.) 


Canons 63-79 under this head deal with the question of 
privileges, which are favors, either against law or outside 
of law, which a person or a community enjoys without limit 
of time. 

49. Privileges can be acquired not only by direct con 
cession but also by communication, by legitimate custom, 
and prescription. However, Canon 613 states as an excep 
tion to this rule that between Religious Orders the com 
munication of privileges is revoked, and that each Order 
shall have only what is conceded by the Code, and the 
favors that have been directly granted to the Order. 
(Canon 63.) 

50. The habitual faculties which are granted either 
in perpetuum or for a definite period of time, or for a certain 
number of cases, are counted among the privileges praeter 
jus. This consideration allows a liberal interpretation of such 
faculties ; whereas, if they were to be considered contra jus, 
their explanation would have to be strict. Unless they are 
given personally to the bishop, or otherwise restricted to 
him, the vicar general has the same faculties. (Canon 66.) 

51. Doubts concerning privileges must be solved ac- 


cording to Canon 50, which decrees that rescripts as well 
as privileges that injure the acquired rights of a third party, 
or such that are against the law, in favor of private in 
dividuals, are to receive a strict interpretation. Any privi 
lege, however, must be so explained that the privileged 
party does derive some benefit from the privilege. (Canon 

52. No one is obliged to make use of a privilege that 
is granted for his own personal benefit, unless the duty to 
make use of it arises from another source. (Canon 69.) 

53. By a general law are revoked the privileges con 
tained in the Code. Particular privileges are not revoked by 
a general law, unless the law explicitly revokes all contrary 
privileges, or unless they were granted by an inferior 
authority. (Canon 71.) 

54. Privileges cease by renunciation accepted by the 
competent superior. Privileges granted only for any private 
individual s own benefit may be renounced by this individual. 
Those granted to any community, dignity or place, private 
individuals are not allowed to renounce; nor is a community 
or body of persons free to renounce privileges given to them 
in the form of law, for instance, the exemption granted to 
the regulars, or when the renunciation is prejudicial to the 
Church, or to other persons. (Canon 72.) 

55. Privileges do not cease by the fact that the one 
granting them dies, or in any other way loses his jurisdic 
tion, unless they were granted with the clause "ad bene- 
placitum nostrum" or another equivalent clause. Thus, for 
instance, faculties granted to a priest by the bishop with 
out such a clause continue though the bishop dies or is 
transferred to another see. (Canon 73.) 

56. Privileges may also terminate if, according to the 
judgment of the superior, in the course of time circumstances 
change to such an extent that the privilege becomes harm 
ful or its use illicit. Finally, privileges cease when the time 
expires for which they were granted, or the number of cases 
for which faculties were given is exhausted. One exception 
to this rule is made in Canon 207, 2, where the Code be 
nignly supplies jurisdiction, if, in his faculties for the internal 
forum, the priest through inadvertence makes use of the 


faculties though the time for which they were granted has 
elapsed, or the number of cases has been exhausted, 
(Canon 77.) 



57. Dispensation, which is the relaxation of a law in 
a particular case, can be granted by the law-giver, by his 
successor or his superior, and by those whom they have 
delegated. (Canon 80.) 

58. From the general laws of the Church, Ordinaries 
inferior to the Roman Pontiff cannot dispense, not even in 
a particular case, unless this power has been conceded to 
them implicitly or explicitly, or when recourse to the Holy 
See is difficult and there is at the same time danger of caus 
ing great harm by the delay, and the case is one in which 
the Holy See usually dispenses. (Canon 81.) 

59. Bishops and other local Ordinaries can dispense 
from diocesan laws, from the laws of Provincial and Na 
tional Councils; but they cannot dispense from laws which 
the Roman Pontiff has published for a particular country or 
diocese, except in cases indicated in the preceding Canon. 
(Canon 82.) 

60. Pastors cannot dispense either from a general law 
of the Church nor from special laws of country or diocese, 
unless this power has expressly been conceded to them. By 
custom introduced from time immemorial and confirmed by 
Canon 1245, pastors can dispense their parishioners in indi 
vidual cases from the fast and abstinence and from the law 
forbidding servile work on Sundays and holidays of obliga 
tion. (Canon 83.) 

61. Dispensations from the law of the Church should 
not be given without a just and reasonable cause, which 
should be in due proportion to the gravity of the law from 
which dispensation is granted. Dispensations granted by 
an inferior without just cause are both illicit and invalid, 
while the law-giver himself may always validly dispense 
from his laws, though also he sins by dispensing a subject 
from the law without a good reason. When it is doubtful 
whether the reason for a dispensation is sufficient, the in- 


dividual is allowed to ask for the dispensation and the 
superior may validly and licitly grant the same. (Canon 84.) 

62. Dispensations must be interpreted according to 
Canon 50, and also the faculties to grant dispensations must 
be strictly interpreted. (Canon 85.) 

63. Dispensations extending for some length of time 
cease not only for the same reason as a privilege, but also 
whenever it is certain that the reason for the dispensation has 
entirely ceased to exist, e. g., dispensation from reciting the 
Divine Office, fast, etc., in case of ill health, when the dispen 
sation ceases of itself after complete recovery, (Canon 86.) 


Laws Concerning Persons 

64. By baptism a person becomes a subject of the 
Church of Christ, with all the rights and duties of a Chris 
tian, unless as far as rights are concerned there is some 
obstacle impeding the bond of communion with the Church, 
or a censure inflicted by the Church. (Canon 87.) 

65. A person who has reached the age of twenty-one 
years is called of major age; under twenty-one he is called 
a minor. A boy reaches the age of puberty when fourteen 
years of age, a girl at the completion of the twelfth year. 
Children under seven years of age are spoken of in law as 
infants, "puer, parvulus," and they are not considered respon 
sible for their actions. When fully seven years of age, the 
law presumes that the child has the sufficient use of reason 
to be responsible. Persons habitually devoid of the use of 
reason are in law held equal to infants. (Canon 88.) 

66. A person of major age has the full exercise of his 
rights, the minor remains subject to the parents or guardian 
in the exercise of his rights, except in matters in which the 
law exempts minors from the paternal power. (Canon 89.) 

67. By locus originis is meant the place where the 
father, or in case of illegitimate and of posthumous children 
the mother, had a domicile, or in defect of a domicile a quasi- 
domicile. If there is question of children of vagi the very place 
of birth is the place of origin; of exposed children the place 
where they were found. In the case of converts the same rules 
obtain. The opinion of canonists who have held that the place 
of baptism of adults might be considered as their locus originis 
must therefore be corrected. (Canon 90.) 

68. A person is called an incola in the place where 
he has a domicile; advena in the place where he has a quasi- 
domicile; a peregrinus, if he is actually outside the place of 
domicile or quasi-domicile which he still retains; vagus, if he 
has nowhere a domicile nor quasi-domicile, (Canon 91.) 


69. A domicile is acquired by residence in some parish 
or quasi-parish, or at least in a diocese, vicariate-apostolic or 
prefecture-apostolic, which residence must be acquired with the 
intention to stay there forever unless something calls him away, 
or it must be the actual residence of ten complete years. (Canon 

A quasi-domiciie is acquired by residence in a parish or a 
diocese with the intention to stay there for the greater part of 
the year unless something should call one away, or by having 
actually lived there for the greater part of the year. 

The domicile or quasi-domicile in a parish or quasi-parish 
is called parochial; in the diocese, vicariate or prefecture, though 
not in the same parish or quasi-parish, is called diocesan. The 
diocesan domicile is new in the language of Canon Law. 

70. The wife, if not lawfully separated from the husband, 
necessarily shares the domicile of her husband; the insane that 
of his guardian; the minor that of the person in whose charge 
he is. A minor can after the years of infancy acquire a quasi- 
domicile of his own; a quasi-domicile can be acquired by the 
wife not legally separated, while the legally separated wife 
can acquire a domicile of her own. (Canon 93.) 

71. Through domicile or quasi-domicile each of the 
faithful gets his proper pastor and Ordinary. The proper pastor 
and Ordinary of the vagi are the pastor and bishop of the place 
where the vagus actually stays. Those also who have but a 
diocesan domicile, or quasi-domicile, have for their proper 
pastor the one in whose parish they actually stay. (Canon 94.) 

72. Domicile and quasi-domicile are lost by the act of 
leaving the place with the intention not to return there. Minors 
and married women are an exception, as stated in Canon 93. 
(Canon 95.) 

73. Consanguinity is traced by lines of descent and 
degrees. In the direct line there are as many degrees as there 
are generations, or, in other words, as many degrees as there 
are persons, not counting the stipes or head of the line. In the 
branch lines there are as many degrees as there are generations 
in one line, if the distance from the common parent is equal; 
if the distance is not equal, there are as many degrees as there 
are generations in the longer line. (Canon 96.) 

74. Affinity arises from a valid marriage and it makes 


no difference whether it be only a matrimonium ratum or also 
consummatum. Affinity exists only between the husband and the 
blood relations of his wife, and the wife and the blood relations 
of her husband. Brothers, sisters, etc., of husband and wife 
do therefore not enter into any affinity with each other. The 
degrees of affinity are numbered in the same way as the con 
sanguinity, so that the blood relations of the husband become 
the affines of the wife in the same line and degree as they are 
standing towards the husband; and vice versa. (Canon 97.) 

75. To determine to which of the various Catholic 
Rites a person belongs, baptism decides, so that one belongs 
to that Rite in which he was baptized, unless perhaps baptism 
was administered by a priest of another Rite who was not en 
titled to baptize that person, or baptism was given in case of 
necessity where no priest of the proper Rite could be secured^ 
or, finally, when by apostolic indult a person obtained the per 
mission to be baptized with the ceremonies of a certain Rite 
without the obligation to adhere to that Rite. 

The clergy should not presume to induce either Catholics 
of the Latin Rite to join an Oriental Rite, or Catholics of 
Oriental Rites to join the Latin Rite. 

No one is allowed without permission from the Holy See 
to go over to another Rite, or after a legal transfer to return 
to the former Rite. 

The wife who belongs to another Rite than her husband 
is at liberty at the time of marriage, or at any time during the 
marriage, to join the Rite of her husband. When marriage is 
dissolved, she is free to return to her own Rite, unless particu 
lar laws rule otherwise. 

The custom, no matter of what duration it may be, to 
receive Holy Communion in another Rite does not entitle to, 
or mean, a change of Rite. (Canon 98.) 

76. There are in the Catholic Church besides physical 
also so-called moral or legal persons, that is to say bodies of 
men, instituted by the public authority of the Church, which 
persons are distinguished into collegiate bodies and non- 
collegiate, for instance, churches, seminaries, benefices, etc. 
(Canon 99.) 

77. The Catholic Church and the Apostolic See have 
the nature of a legal person by Divine ordinance. The other, 


inferior, legal persons get their personality either by law, or by 
a special concession of the competent ecclesiastical superior 
through a formal decree for the purpose of religion or charity. 
Unless there are at least three individuals, there can be no 
collegiate moral person. Moral persons, both collegiate and 
non-collegiate, are held equal to minors. (Canon 100.) 

78. The actions of collegiate legal bodies in the 
Church are subject to the following rules. 

Unless either the common law or particular statutes 
prescribe a different course of action, it shall be the rule that 
the absolute majority of votes of all those who have a right 
to vote, and actually do vote, decides a question, and if in the 
two first votings no majority was obtained, the relative majority 
of votes in the third voting decides. If in the third voting the 
votes are even, the president of the election can, by giving his 
vote to one of the parties, decide the matter; if the president 
does not want to do this and there is question of elections, the 
senior in ordination, in first profession or in age, is to be con 
sidered elected. 

Those matters that touch each one individually, must 
be approved by all. 

If there is question of the actions of non-collegiate legal 
persons, the particular statutes and the norms of the com 
mon law regarding such persons are to be followed. 
(Canon 101.) 

79. A legal person is of its very nature perpetual. It 
may be extinguished by suppression by the legitimate au 
thority, or by having ceased to exist for a space of one hun 
dred years. If at least one individual of a collegiate legal 
person remains, the rights of all rest with that individual. 
(Canon 102.) 

80. An action that is done by either a physical or a 
moral person through extrinsic force which could not be 
resisted is considered as though it was not done. Actions 
done because of great fear from unjust threats, or an ac 
count of deceit, are valid unless the law rules otherwise in 
some cases; they can, however, be declared null and void 
by the ecclesiastical judge according to Canons 1684-1689, 
at the petition of the injured party, or even without such 
petition. (Canon 103.) 


81. Error annuls an action when it concerns the sub 
stance of the action, or amounts to a conditio sine qua non; 
otherwise the action is valid, unless the law states the con 
trary. In contracts, however, error may give the person 
contracting under such error the right to an action in court 
for the rescinding of the contract. (Canon 104.) 

82. Whenever the law states that the superior needs 
the consent, or the consultation, of some persons, the 
following rules obtain: 

If consent is required, the superior acts invalidly against 
the vote of these persons; if only consultation is demanded, 
by words like de consilio consultorum, or audito capitulo, 
parocho, etc., it is sufficient for the validity of the action 
that the superior consults these persons. Though he is not 
bound to follow their advice, he should nevertheless have 
great regard for the unanimous vote where several persons 
had to be consulted, and he should not without a very good 
reason go against their counsel. 

If the consent, or consultation, of several persons is 
required, these persons should be legally convoked and thus 
manifest their mind. The superior may, if he thinks the 
matter of sufficient importance, oblige them to take the 
oath of secrecy concerning this affair. All persons whose 
consent or counsel is required should with due respect, 
truthfulness and sincerity state their idea on the subject. 
(Canon 105.) This Canon does not say whether the action 
of a superior is invalid if in cases where consent or counsel of 
others is required, he should neglect to call some of these per 
sons. Reference is made to Canon 162, 4, which states that 
the convocation of individuals for election is not essential, 
provided they were present anyhow. The same Canon, in 
number 3, declares that elections are invalid if more than 
one-third of those having a vote were not called and did 
not take part in the election. We believe the same may 
be applied to the validity of an action where certain in 
dividuals must intervene. 

83. In Canon 106 are to be found rules on precedence 
of various ecclesiastical persons. 

84. By Divine institution the clergy is distinct from 
the laity in the Church, though not all degrees of clerics 


are of Divine institution. Both clerics and laics may be 
Eeligious. (Canon 107.) 



The Clergy in General. 

85. Those who have been assigned to the Divine min 
istry by the first tonsure, are called clerics. They are not all 
of the same degree, there is a sacred hierarchy by which one 
is subordinate to the other. This hierarchy which is of Divine 
institution by reason of the sacred orders, consists of bish 
ops, priests and ministers; by reason of jurisdiction it con 
sists of the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episco 
pate. By institution of the Church other degrees have been 
added. (Canon 108.) 

86. Those who, in the Church, are received into the 
ecclesiastical hierarchy, are not accepted by consent or a 
call from the secular authority or the people, but are placed 
in the degrees of the power of orders by sacred ordination. 
In the supreme pontificate the person lawfully elected and 
freely accepting the election receives power of jurisdiction 
by Divine right; all others receive jurisdiction by the cano 
nic a missio. 

87. Though the Holy See does give to some of the 
clergy the title of prelate as an honorary title without juris 
diction, the proper meaning of the term denotes those of the 
secular or regular clergy who have ordinary jurisdiction in 
the external forum, (Canon 110,) 

Manner of Ascribing the Clergy to a Diocese. 

88. Every cleric must belong either to some diocese or 
to some religious community, vagrant clerics are not at all 
recognized. By reception of the first tonsure a cleric is 
ascribed to, or incardinated in the diocese for the service 
of which he was promoted. (Canon 111.) 


89. With the exception of the cases mentioned in 
Canons 114 and 641, 2, it is necessary for valid incardina- 
tion of a cleric into another diocese that his own bishop 
grant him letters of perpetual and unconditional excardina- 
tion, and that the bishop receiving him likewise issues letters 
of perpetual and unconditional incardination. Letters of in- 
and excardination must be signed by the bishops. (Canon 

90. The vicar general cannot grant incardination or 
excardination without a special mandate from the Ordinary, 
nor can the vicar capitular do this except after one year s 
vacancy of the bishopric, and then only with the consent 
of the cathedral Chapter. (Canon 113.) 

91. If the Ordinary gives to a cleric of another diocese 
a benefice requiring residence, e. g. a parish, with the written 
consent of his Ordinary, or with the written permission al 
lowing the cleric to leave his diocese for good, this is con 
sidered an ex- and incardination. (Canon 114.) 

92. By religious profession a cleric is excardinated from 
his diocese, according to the rules of Canon 585. (Canon 115.) 

93. Excardination cannot take place without good rea 
sons, and it does not take effect, unless incardination in the 
other diocese has followed, the Ordinary of which diocese 
is held to inform the other bishop as soon as possible. 
(Canon 116.) 

94. A bishop should not incardinate a cleric of an 
other diocese, unless (1) the cleric is necessary or useful to 
the diocese and the rules of Canon Law have been observed; 

(2) the bishop has the authentic document of excardination 
and letters of the Curia about the conduct of the cleric; 

(3) the cleric has taken the oath before the incardinating 
Ordinary or his delegate to serve the new diocese for all 
times according to the sacred Canons, (Canon 117.) 


The Rights and Privileges of Clerics. 

95. Clerics only can obtain either the power of orders 
or that of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and ecclesiastical bene 
fices and pensions. (Canon 118.) 


96. All the faithful owe the clergy reverence according 
to their various rank and offices, and they become guilty 
of sacrilege if they do them personal injury. (Canon 119.) 

97. All cases against clerics, both civil and criminal, 
must be brought into the ecclesiastical court, unless for 
some countries other provisions have been made. 

Cardinals, Legates of the Holy See, bishops, even titu 
lar ones, abbots and prelates nullius, the supreme heads of 
religious bodies approved by Rome, the major officials of 
the Roman Curia in reference to business belonging to their 
office, cannot be sued in the secular courts without permis 
sion of the Holy See. All others, clerics and religious, who 
enjoy the privilege of the forum, cannot be sued in a civil 
court without permission of the Ordinary of the place where 
the case is to be tried. The Ordinary, however, should not 
refuse such permission, if the suitor be a lay person, espe 
cially after his attempts to effect an agreement have failed. 

If clerics are sued in the civil court by one who has not 
obtained the permission, they may appear in court because 
they are forced to obey the summons if they want to protect 
themselves against more trouble, but they shall inform the 
Ordinary from whom permission should have been obtained. 
(Canon 120.) 

^ 98. All clerics are free from military service and from 
duties and public offices that are unbecoming to the clerical 
station. (Canon 121.) 

99. Clerics who are forced to pay their debts should not 
be deprived of what is necessary for decent living, according 
to the prudent judgment of the ecclesiastical superior, but 
they are bound to pay all debts as soon as possible. (Canon 

The cleric cannot renounce the afore-mentioned privi 
leges; he loses them, however, if he is reduced to the con 
dition of laics, or is punished with perpetual privation of 
the ecclesiastical garb, according to the rules laid down in 
Canons 213, 1, and 2304. If the penalty is remitted, or if 
he is received again among the clergy, the privileges revive. 
(Canon 123.) 



Obligations of Clerics. 

100. Both the interior life and the exterior behavior of 
the clergy must be superior to the laity and excel them by 
the example of virtue and good deeds. (Canon 124.) 

101. The Ordinary must take care, (1) that the clergy 
frequently go to confession, (2) that they make each day a 
meditation of some duration, visit the Blessed Sacrament, 
say the rosary, and examine their conscience. (Canon 125.) 

102. All secular priests must at least once in three 
years make a retreat for a length of time to be specified by 
the Ordinary, in a religious house or other place designated 
by the bishop. No one shall be exempted from the retreat, 
except in a particular case, for a just reason, and with the 
explicit permission of the Ordinary. (Canon 126.) 

103. All clerics, but especially the priests, are under 
the special obligation to obey and respect their respective 
Ordinary. (Canon 127.) 

104. The office imposed on clerics by the bishop must 
be accepted and faithfully attended to as long as the bishop 
judges that the needs of the Church in his diocese require 
the services of the priest. (Canon 128.) 

105. The clerics after being ordained priests must not 
neglect studies, especially of the sacred sciences, in which 
they should always follow the sound doctrine handed down 
to us by the Fathers and universally received by the Church, 
and should avoid profane novelties of expression and what 
is wrongly called scientific. (Canon 129.) 

106. All priests, even though they should have a pa 
rochial or canon s benefice, must for three years after their 
ordination yearly undergo an examination in the sacred 
sciences as outlined by the bishop. The bishop may for 
good reasons dispense from this duty. In the appointment 
to offices and benefices those ought to be preferred who, all 
other things being equal, were foremost in the examinations. 
(Canon 130.) 

107. The diocesan conferences should be held repeat 
edly during the year in the episcopal city and in each deanery. 


If it should be very difficult to have the meeting, the 
answers to the cases for conference should be put in writing 
and sent by mail according to the directions of the Ordinary. 

All secular priests, and also all those religious who have 
the care of souls (as pastors or curates), and, if the cases 
of conscience are not held in the monastery, all religious 
priests who have the faculties of the diocese, must attend 
the diocesan conferences. (Canon 131.) 

108. Clerics in major orders are, under pain of nullity, 
forbidden to marry and they have the obligation of observing 
chastity, so that sins against this virtue are also a sacrilege. 
If a cleric received major orders through grave fear or force, 
and did not ratify his ordination by accepting willingly the 
duties of the clerical state of major order men, he may bring 
his case before the bishop and if he can prove his case, he 
must be pronounced free from the obligations of the major 

Clerics in minor orders may indeed get married but, 
unless the marriage was invalid on account of their being 
forced to such a marriage by grave fear or violence, they 
cease to be clerics ipso facto. 

A married man who in good faith receives major orders 
without a dispensation from the Holy See is forbidden to 
exercise such orders. (Canon 132.) 

109. The clergy shall take care not to have in their 
houses, nor to visit, women that may give reason for suspi 
cion. They are allowed to have in their houses only such 
women concerning whom there can be no suspicion either 
on account of the natural bond, as mother, sister, aunt, or 
about whom on account of their character and more ad 
vanced age all suspicion is removed. It is left to the judg 
ment of the bishop whether in any case a woman is to be 
removed from the priest s house, or the priest to be for 
bidden to visit a woman. If the priest has been admonished 
repeatedly and yet continues to be obstinate, he is presumed 
guilty of concubinage. (Canon 133.) 

110. The custom of the secular clergy to lead a com 
munity life is praiseworthy and is to be encouraged, and 
where it is in vogue it should be continued as far as possible. 
(Canon 134.) 


111. Clerics in major orders are tinder obligation to 
daily recite all the canonical hours according to their proper 
and approved liturgical books. Those clerics that have been 
reduced to the state of laics, as described in Canon 213 and 
214, are not obliged to recite the office. (Canon 135.) Cf. 
No. 144 and 145. 

112. All clerics are bound to wear a becoming clerical 
garb in accordance with the legitimate customs of places 
and with the orders of the Ordinary. They shall also have 
the clerical tonsure, unless the custom of nations is against 
it, and the dressing of their hair shall be free from vanity. 
Clerics are not allowed to wear a ring, unless it is conceded 
to them either by law or by Apostolic privilege. 

Clerics in minor orders who of their own authority and 
without a legitimate cause do not wear the ecclesiastical 
garb and the tonsure, and have been admonished by the 
Ordinary and do not obey within a month, are by the very 
fact deprived of the clerical state. (Canon 136.) 

113. Clerics are forbidden to give bail for any one, 
even with their own money, unless they have the permis 
sion of the local Ordinary. (Canon 137.) 

114. Clerics must abstain from all things that are un 
becoming their state : they must not exercise unbecoming 
arts; not play games of chance with money; not carry 
weapons, unless there is justified cause for fear; not indulge 
in hunting and never in that kind of hunting that is done 
with much display and publicity; not visit saloons and places 
of the same nature except in cases of necessity or for any 
other just cause approved by the Ordinary. (Canon 138.) 

115. Even those affairs that are not unbecoming to 
the clerical state, but are foreign to it, the clergy must 

Without Apostolic indult they shall not practice medi 
cine or surgery; not act as notary public, except in the ec 
clesiastical Curia; not accept public offices that import secu 
lar jurisdiction or duties of administration. 

Without permission from the Ordinary the clerics shall 
not act as agents for goods and property of lay people, or 
assume secular offices that impose the obligation of render 
ing an account; not exercise the office of procurator or 


lawyer, except in the ecclesiastical court, or in the civil 
court when there is question of his own case or of his 
church ; clerics shall not have any part at all, not even that 
of witnesses unless they are forced to act as such, in criminal 
cases in lay courts where the criminal is to be punished with 
a grave personal penalty. 

Without permission from the Holy See the clerics are 
not allowed to run for or accept the offices of senator and 
deputies in those countries where there is a prohibition of 
the Pope; in other countries they shall not attempt this 
without the permission of their Ordinary as well as of the 
Ordinary of the place where the election is to take place. 
( Canon *139.) 

116. The clergy must keep away from such perform 
ances, dances and shows which are unbecoming to the clergy 
and where it would be scandalous to see them attend these, 
especially in public theatres. (Canon 140.) 

117. Clerics shall not volunteer for military service, 
unless they do so with the permission of the bishop in coun 
tries where they are forced to serve, in order the sooner 
to put in their period of service. Clerics must not take part 
or help in any way, in internal revolts and disturbances of 
public order. Clerics who in violation of this law volunteer 
for military service thereby forfeit their clerical standing. 
(Canon 141.) 

118. Clerics are forbidden either by themselves or 
through others to engage in any business or gainful occu 
pation, whether for their own benefit or for that of others 
(Canon 142.) 

119. Clerics, even though they have no benefice or 
office requiring residence, are forbidden to be absent from 
their diocese for a notable length of time without at least 
the presumed permission of their bishop. (Canon 143.) 
For absence of pastors cf. Canon 465. 

120. Clerics who go into another diocese with the per 
mission of their bishop, but are not excardinated, can be 
recalled for a just reason but the laws of equity must be 
kept in mind. The bishop of the other diocese likewise can 
for a just reason deny a priest permission to prolong his 
stay in that diocese, unless he has given the extern priest 
a parish. (Canon 144.) 



Ecclesiastical Offices. 

121. An ecclesiastical office, in the wide sense of the 
word, is any employment that has a spiritual purpose. In 
the strict sense an ecclesiastical office means a stable posi 
tion which is created either by God Himself or by the 
Church, conferred according to the rules of Canon Law, 
and carrying with it some participation of ecclesiastical 
power either of Holy Orders or of jurisdiction. 

In law the word office is accepted in the strict sense 
unless the context clearly shows the contrary. (Canon 145.) 

Canons 147-195 treat of appointment to offices, election, 
postulation, loss of office. We will here quote the Canons 
that might find application to the condition of the Church in 
the United States, and in countries where the same condi 
tions prevail. 

122. An ecclesiastical office cannot be obtained with 
out a canonical appointment. By ecclesiastical or canonical 
appointment is understood the conferring of an ecclesiastical 
office by the competent ecclesiastical authority, according 
to the sacred Canons. (Canon 147.) 

123. Offices that have the care of souls attached to 
Ihem either in the external or internal forum, cannot validly 
be given to clerics who are not yet ordained priests. (Canon 
154.) This regulation is new, for according to the former 
law a cleric could be appointed pastor of a parish before he 
was ordained priest. 

124. Appointment to offices that have become vacant 
should never be deferred over six months from the time 
when the vacancy became known, if special laws do not 
otherwise specify the term. In the appointment of pastors 
the concession of Canon 458 is to be considered. (Canon 

125. An office that has become vacant either through 
renunciation or by the sentence of the ecclesiastical Court 
cannot validly be conferred by the bishop, who accepted the 
resignation or gave the sentence, on his (the bishop s) re 
lations, either of kin or by marriage, in the first and second 
degree, nor on a cleric in his service. Relations, either of 


kin or by marriage, to the second degree and clerics in the 
service of the one resigning the office are at the same time 
barred from taking said office. (Canon 157.) 

126. Appointment to any office should be made in 
writing. (Canon 159.) 


Ordinary and Delegated Jurisdiction. 

127. In the Catholic Church there is, by Divine insti 
tution, the power of jurisdiction or government. This is 
twofold, that of the external forum and that of conscience 
or the internal forum, which latter is subdivided into sacra 
mental and extra-sacramental jurisdiction. (Canon 196.) 

128. By ordinary jurisdiction is meant the one that 
goes by right with the appointment to an office. Delegated 
jurisdiction is such that may be committed to a cleric by his 
superior. (Canon 197.) 

129. In law the term Ordinary, besides having refer 
ence to the Roman Pontiff, refers to the bishop, abbot or 
prelate nullius and their vicars general, administrator, vicar 
and prefect apostolic, in their respective territories, and, in 
case of vacancy in these offices, to those who by law or le 
gitimate custom succeed them in office. In exempt clerical 
Religious Orders the major superiors come also under the 
name of Ordinaries. By the term ordinarius loci or locorum 
are meant all person enumerated in this Canon except re 
ligious superiors. (Canon 198.) 

130. He who has ordinary jurisdiction can delegate it 
to another, either totally or in part, unless the law expressly 
restricts the power of delegation. 

Jurisdiction delegated by the Holy See can be sub- 
delegated, either for one act or also habitually, unless the 
person was delegated for reason of personal aptitude (in- 
dustria personae), or subdelegation was forbidden. 

Jurisdiction delegated for a universality of cases by an 
Ordinary inferior to the Roman Pontiff can be subdelegated 
in individual cases. 

In all other delegations the delegated jurisdiction can 
not be subdelegated except the power to subdelegate has 


been expressly granted. Acts that do not import jurisdic 
tion can be subdelegated by delegated judges even though 
subdelegation was not expressly conceded. 

No subdelegated jurisdiction can be further subdele 
gated, unless this power has been explicitly granted. (Canon 

131. The ordinary power of jurisdiction and the juris 
diction delegated for the universality of cases is to be inter 
preted liberally; all other jurisdiction strictly. To whom, 
however, jurisdiction has been delegated, to him it is under 
stood all such power has been given as is necessary to make 
his jurisdiction effective. He who claims to possess dele 
gated jurisdiction has the burden of proving his delegation. 
(Canon 200.) 

132. The power of jurisdiction can be exercised directly 
over subjects only. 

The judicial power, both ordinary and delegated, can 
not be exercised for one s own comfort nor outside the proper 
territory. For exceptions Canons 401, 1; 881, 2; and 1637 
are to be considered. 

The non-judicial or so-called voluntary jurisdiction can 
be exercised even in one s own favor, and made use of even 
outside one s territory, and in favor of a subject who is out 
side the territory, unless the nature of the case or the posi 
tive rules of law forbid such use of jurisdiction. According 
to this rule a bishop can give various faculties to one of his 
priests even though the bishop is outside his diocese, and 
he can give them to his priests even though they be absent 
from the diocese. Faculties, unless restricted by law, or by 
the one conceding them, can be used also outside the diocese 
of the bishop who granted them. The faculties granted to 
their priests by bishops in virtue of the five or ten years fac 
ulties they formerly received from the Holy See were, as a 
rule, granted to priests only as long as they worked in the 
diocese. Whether certain absolutions from censures and 
other faculties could be exercised by the priests also while 
they were for a time outside their own diocese depended on 
the wording of the faculties. Many of the papal faculties 
were granted even to the bishops with the restriction that 
they could not make use of them outside the limits of their 


diocese. (Canon 201.) Cf. No. 900 on the revocation of 
these faculties. 

133. An act of jurisdiction in the external forum, 
whether ordinary or delegated, holds also for the internal 
forum. The act of one having jurisdiction for the internal 
forum only does not hold in the external forum. 

Jurisdiction given for the internal forum can be exer 
cised also out of confession, unless the faculty is restricted 
to the sacramental forum. 

If the wording of the faculty does not mention the 
forum, it is considered as given for both the internal and ex 
ternal forum, unless the nature of the faculty indicates the 
contrary. (Canon 202.) 

134. The delegate who acts beyond his mandate, either 
as to the matters or the persons over which he received 
power, acts invalidly. The delegate, however, is not to be 
considered to have exceeded the limits of his delegation if 
only the manner in which he transacted the affair is contrary 
to the wishes of the one who delegated him, unless the way 
how to proceed was prescribed as a condition of the dele 
gation. (Canon 203.) 

135. If a person applies to a higher superior, passing 
the inferior, the so-called voluntary jurisdiction of the in 
ferior, i. e. such as is exercised outside judicial proceedings, 
is not thereby suspended, whether he has ordinary or dele 
gated power. He shall, however, not interfere when the 
matter has been brought to the higher superior except for 
grave and urgent reasons, in which case he shall immediately 
notify the superior. (Canon 204.) 

136. If several individuals have received delegated 
power concerning the same affair and doubt arises whether 
the delegation was given in solidum, or collegialiter, it is to 
be considered given in solidum in matters that do not require 
judicial proceedings, as collegialiter in matters of judicial 

If several persons are delegated in solidum, he who first 
makes use of the power in the case excludes the others so 
that they no longer have power, unless the first is after 
wards impeded, or does not wish to continue to act in the 


If several persons are delegated coUegialiter, all must 
act together in the case in order that their action may be 
valid, unless in the faculty other provisions are made. 
(Canon 205.) 

137. If several persons have been delegated for the 
same affair but at different times, the one first delegated in 
order of time must attend to the affair unless the later dele 
gation explicitly revoked the former. (Canon 206.) 

138. The delegated jurisdiction ceases in the following 
ways : when the mandate has been complied with ; when the 
time has expired or the number of cases is exhausted; when 
the motive for w r hich delegation was given has ceased; by 
recall of the delegation made known to the one delegated by 
the superior; by renunciation of the delegate and acceptance 
of the same by the superior; but delegated jurisdiction does 
not cease by the passing out of office of the one delegating, 
except in the case mentioned in Canon 61. Cf. No. 46. 

Jurisdiction granted for the internal forum is still validly 
exercised if through inadvertence the priest has not no 
ticed that the time for his faculties has expired or that he 
had used up the number of cases for which he had faculties. 

When several persons are delegated colJcgialiter, all lose 
their jurisdiction by the fact that one is absent, dies, refuses 
to act, etc.. unless the contrary is stated in the document of 
delegation. (Canon 207.) 

139. As stated in Canon 183, 2, the ordinary jurisdiction 
does not cease on account of the death, etc., of the one con 
ceding the office. When the office is lost, the ordinary juris 
diction attached to it is likewise lost. The ordinary juris 
diction is suspended in the case of legitimate appeal, unless 
the appeal is only in devolutivo. (Canon 208.) Exceptions 
to this Canon are found in Canons 2264 and 2284. 

140. The Church supplies jurisdiction both for the ex 
ternal and the internal forum (1) in common error, (2) in 
a positive and probable doubt of fact as well as of law. 
(Canon 209.) The former teaching of authors concerning 
supplied jurisdiction, especially as to the titulus coloratus, etc., 
must be corrected to agree with this Canon. 

141. The power of orders which has been attached to 
an office by the legitimate ecclesiastical superior or been 


committed to a person by him, cannot be delegated to 
others, unless the law or the indult explicitly allows dele 
gation. (Canon 210.) 

Reduction of Clerics to the State of the Laity. 

142. Though the sacred ordination once validly re 
ceived cannot be invalidated, nevertheless a cleric in major 
orders may be reduced to the state of the laity by rescript 
of the Holy See, or by the decree or sentence of the ecclesi 
astical court according to Canon 214, and, finally, by the 
penalty of degradation. 

A cleric in minor orders may be reduced to the state 
of the laity not only by the very fact of committing actions 
to which the law attaches loss of the clerical state, but also 
by his own free will under condition that he request the 
Ordinary to allow him to return to the lay state ; or the 
Ordinary may of his own accord issue a declaration to that 
effect when he prudently judges that the cleric could not, 
with due respect for the clerical state, be promoted to sacred 
orders. (Canon 211.) 

143. If a cleric in minor orders has for any reason re 
turned to the state of the laity, he can again be admitted to 
the clergy with the permission of the Ordinary into whose 
diocese he was incardinated by the orders. The Ordinary, 
however, should not grant permission except after a dili 
gent inquiry concerning the life and morals of the indivi 
dual and after a trial the length of which is to be determined 
by the same bishop. 

A cleric in major orders who has returned to the lay 
state cannot be admitted again to the clerical state except 
by permission of the Holy See. (Canon 212.) 

144. All clerics who have been legally reduced, or 
have returned with permission, to the state of the laity 
thereby lose the offices, benefices, rights and privileges of 
clerics and are forbidden to wear the cassock and the ton 
sure. A cleric in major orders, however, is held to celibacy, 
saving the exception made in the following Canon. (Canon 


145. The cleric who received a major order out of 
grave fear may by the sentence of the ecclesiastical judge 
be reduced to the state of the laity, provided he can prove 
that he was ordained in fear and has not ratified the ordi 
nation afterwards, at least tacitly, by the exercise of the 
order with the intention of subjecting himself to the obli 
gations of the major orders. He is then free from the obli 
gation of celibacy and from the duty of saying the breviary. 
The want of liberty and absence of ratification must be 
proved according to the rules of Canons 1993-1998. (Canon 


Clerics Individually. 

146. The Supreme Authority alone can erect ecclesi 
astical provinces, dioceses, abbeys or prelatures nullius, vi- 
cariates apostolic, prefectures apostolic; or change their 
limits, divide, unite, suppress them. 

In law the term of diocese refers also to abbeys or pre 
latures nullius, and the name of bishop also to the abbot or 
the prelate nullius, unless the nature of the case or the con 
text of the law show the contrary. (Canon 215.) 

147. The territory of each diocese shall be divided in 
to distinct territorial sections and each section shall have 
its own church to which the Catholic population of the dis 
trict shall be assigned. Such a church is presided over by 
a rector as the proper pastor for the necessary care of souls. 

In like manner shall the vicariates and prefectures apos 
tolic be divided where it can conveniently be done. 

The parts or sections of a diocese are called parishes; 
those of vicariates and prefectures apostolic are called quasi- 
parishes, and the priests assigned to the quasi-parishes are 
called quasi-pastors. 

Without special permission from the Holy See parishes 
may not be established that are not divided by territory but 
by the difference of language of the people in the same town 
or city. It is likewise forbidden to establish purely personal 
parishes, i. e., for certain classes of people, or parishes for cer 
tain families. As to already established parishes of the kind 


mentioned in this Canon nothing shall be changed without 
consulting the Holy See. 

This law of the new Code does away with the differ 
ence between pastors of European countries and those of 
countries like the United States; both are equally pastors, 
no matter whether they are irremovable or otherwise, 
whether they have a fixed income or get their salary from 
the voluntary offerings of the faithful. For many centuries 
past the immovability from office and the endowment of 
the church were considered essential to a pastorship in the 
strict sense of the word. In more recent decrees concern 
ing pastors there has been a noticeable tendency not to in 
sist so much on the irremovable feature of the office. The 
condition of the Church in many countries at the present 
time makes it impossible to have a benefice connected with 
the parish. The benefice, consisting of lands and houses 
belonging to the church, from the rent of which the pastor 
drew his living, was made impossible in countries where 
either the government has taken the property with which 
the Catholic people had endowed the churches in the course 
of centuries, or the Church is laboring under difficulties 
among a scattered Catholic population, so that endowments 
are impracticable or impossible. (Canon 216.) 

148. The bishop shall divide his diocese into regions or 
districts consisting of several parishes, which districts are 
known under the names of vicariatus foranei, decanatus 
(our deaneries), archipresbyteratus, etc. 

If this division should on account of peculiar circum 
stances be impossible or inopportune, the bishop must con 
sult the Holy See, unless provision has already been made 
by Rome. (Canon 217.) 


The Supreme Authority and Those who by Law Share in it. 

The Roman Pontiff. 

149. The Roman Pontiff as the successor of the Pri 
macy of St. Peter, has not only the prerogative of honor 


but also the supreme and full power of jurisdiction over the 
universal Church, in matters of faith and morals as well as 
in those that pertain to the discipline and government of 
the Church that extends itself throughout the whole world. 
This power is truly episcopal, ordinary and immediate, 
and extends over each and every pastor as well as over the 
faithful, and is independent from any human authority. 
(Canon 218.) 

150. The Roman Pontiff after his legitimate election 
obtains at once, from the moment he accepts the election, by 
Divine right the full power of his supreme jurisdiction. 
(Canon 219.) 

151. Affairs of greater importance, which are reserved 
exclusively to the Roman Pontiff either by their very na 
ture or by law, are called causae ma j ores. (Canon 220.) 

152. If the Roman Pontiff should resign his office, it 
is not necessary for validity that the Cardinals or any others 
accept the renunciation. (Canon 221.) 

The General Council. 

153. There can be no General Council unless it is con 
voked by the Roman Pontiff. It is the right of the Roman 
Pontiff to preside, either in person or through others, at the 
General Council, to determine the matters to be discussed 
and in what order, to transfer, suspend, dissolve the Council, 
and to confirm its decrees. (Canon 222.) 

154. There are to be called to the General Council the 
following persons who shall have a decisive vote : 

1. The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, even 
those who are not bishops. 

2. The patriarchs, primates, archbishops, residential 
bishops, even those not yet consecrated. 

3. The abbots and prelates nullius. 

4. The abbot Primas, abbots who are superiors of 
Monastic Congregations, and the supreme heads of clerical 
exempt Orders of religious. The superiors general of other 
religious bodies are not to be called, unless the bull of con 
vocation explicitly states that they are to be called. 


If titular bishops are called to the General Council, they 
have a decisive vote, unless it is otherwise stated in the 
convocation. The theologians and experts of the sacred 
Canons who may be invited to the General Council have 
but a consultive vote. (Canon 223.) 

155. If any one of those called to the Council, who 
according to the foregoing Canon have a right to be present, 
cannot come on account of some just impediment, he may 
send a procurator and prove the impediment. If the procur 
ator is one of the Fathers of the Council, he shall not have 
a double vote; if he is not, he shall be allowed to be present 
only at the public sessions, but without a vote. When the 
Council is finished he is entitled to subscribe his name to 
the acts of the Council. (Canon 224.) 

156. No one of those who must be present at the 
Council will be allowed to leave before the Council is law 
fully finished, unless the president of the Council shall have 
investigated and approved of the reason for leaving and 
have granted permission to leave. (Canon 225.) 

157. The Fathers of the Council may add other ques 
tions to those proposed by the Roman Pontiff, but they 
must previously have been approved by the president of the 
Council. (Canon 226.) 

158. The decrees of the Council. have no definite bind 
ing force, unless they shall have been confirmed by the Ro 
man Pontiff and promulgated by his orders. (Canon 227.) 

159. The General Council has supreme jurisdiction in 
the whole Church. From the judgment of the Roman Pon 
tiff there is no appeal to the General Council. (Canon 228.) 

160. If it happens that the Roman Pontiff dies during 
the celebration of the Council, the Council is by that very 
fact suspended until the new Pontiff shall have ordered its 
reassumption and continuation. (Canon 229.) 

The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. 

Canons 230-241 treat of the creation, the rights and 
duties of Cardinals. 

161. Canon 239 contains the privileges and faculties 


which are granted to the Cardinals of the Church from the 
time when their promotion to the cardinalate is published 
in a consistory by the Roman Pontiff, and from that time 
they obtain the right to vote at the election of the Roman 
Pontiff. If the Roman Pontiff announces the creation of a 
Cardinal but reserves the name in pectore, as it is called, 
the one who has been thus promoted does not in the mean 
time enjoy any of the rights and privileges of Cardinals, but 
after his name has been made public by the Roman Pontiff, 
he participates in them from the time of publication, but 
he takes precedence from the time his elevation was an 
nounced as reserved in pectore. (Cf. Canon 233.) 

The list of privileges, besides others scattered through 
the Canons, is as follows : 

1. To hear confessions in the whole world, also of the 
religious of either sex, and to absolve their penitents from 
all reserved sins and censures, with the exception of those 
reserved to the Holy See specialissimo modo and the cen 
sures incurred by revealing secrets of the Congregation of 
the Holy Office. 

2. To choose for themselves and their servants a priest 
as confessor who, if he should not have jurisdiction, obtains 
it by the very fact that the Cardinal appoints him as con 
fessor, and who also has the faculty to absolve from all re 
served sins and censures as stated in the preceding paragraph. 

3. To preach the Word of God everywhere. 

4. To celebrate, or to allow another to celebrate in his 
presence, one Holy Mass on Holy Thursday and three Holy 
Masses on Christmas night. 

5. To bless everywhere, by the Sign of the Cross 
alone, rosaries and other crowns of prayer, crosses, medals, 
statues, all scapulars approved by the Holy See, and to im 
pose them without the obligation of having the names in 
scribed and to attach all the indulgences to these sacred 
objects which the Holy See usually grants. 

6. To erect the Stations of the Way of the Cross with 
one blessing in churches, oratories, even private ones, and 
in other pious places, with all the indulgences granted to 
those who make this devout exercise ; to bless crucifixes with 
the indulgences of the Way of the Cross for the use of the 


sick and those who are in any other way legitimately im 
peded from making the Stations in a place where they are 

7. To say Holy Mass on a portable altar, not only in 
their own residences but wherever they actually stay, and 
to allow that another Mass is said in their presence. 

8. To celebrate on the ocean observing the proper pre 

9. To say Holy Mass in any church or oratory in con 
formity with their own calendar. 

10. To have each day the personal indult of the privi 
leged altar. 

11. To gain in their own oratories the indulgences for 
the gaining of which is prescribed a visit to some church or 
shrine of the town or city in which the Cardinal actually 
stays, and his servants participate in this indult. 

12. To bless the people in any place with the episcopal 
benediction, but in the City of Rome only in churches, pious 
institutions and at gatherings of the faithful. 

13. To wear the pectoral cross over the mozeta like 
the bishops and to use the mitre and crozier. 

14. To celebrate Holy Mass in any private oratory 
without prejudice to the one who enjoys the indult. 

15. To exercise pontifical functions with throne and 
canopy in all churches outside the City of Rome; if the Car 
dinal wishes to make use of the pontificals in a cathedral, 
he shall previously advise the Ordinary of the fact. 

16. To receive everywhere the honors which are usu 
ally bestowed on the local Ordinaries. 

17. To authenticate in the external forum the oral pro 
nouncements of the Supreme Pontiff. 

18. To have a private oratory which is exempt from 
the visitation of the Ordinary. 

19. To freely dispose, also by last will, of the revenue 
of their benefice, saving the exception contained in Canon 
1298. This Canon which refers to Cardinals who reside in 
the City of Rome, is quoted below. 

20. To consecrate and bless everywhere churches, al 
tars, sacred utensils, abbots, and exercise similar functions, 


with the exception of the consecration of the holy oils, if 
the Cardinal is not ordained bishop, observing the pre 
scribed regulations and the law of Canon 1157, which rules 
that notwithstanding any privilege, no one can bless or con 
secrate a sacred place without the consent of the Ordinary. 

21. To have precedence over all prelates and patriarchs 
and even the papal legates themselves, unless the legate be 
a Cardinal residing in his own territory; a Cardinal Legate 
a latere outside the City of Rome precedes all other pre 

22. To confer the first tonsure and minor orders, pro 
vided the candidates have the dismissorial letters of their 
own Ordinary. 

23. To confer the Sacrament of Confirmation with the 
obligation of having the names of those confirmed entered 
in the record as required by law. 

24. To grant an indulgence of two hundred days, to 
be gained toties quoties, in places or institutions for persons 
under his jurisdiction or protectorate; also in all other places, 
but to be gained by those present only and once only each 
time, (Canon 239.) 

The Roman Curia. 

162. The Roman Curia consists of the Sacred Congre 
gations, Tribunals and Offices as described in the following 
Canons. (Canon 242.) 

163. In each of the Congregations, tribunals and of 
fices the laws and rules for transacting business shall be fol 
lowed which are either in general or for each in particular 
given by the Roman Pontiff. All who belong to any of the 
Congregations, tribunals and offices of the Roman Curia are 
held to secrecy within the limits and according to the laws 
laid down for each. (Canon 243.) 

164. Nothing of importance shall be transacted in these 
Congregations, tribunals and offices without the moderator 
of them having notified the Roman Pontiff of the affair. 

All favors and all decrees need the approval of the Pope, 
except those affairs for which special faculties have been 


given to the moderators of the offices, tribunals and Con 
gregations; the sentences of the tribunals of the Roman Rota 
and of the Apostolic Signatura also do not need the Pope s 
approval. (Canon 244.) 

165. If any controversy arises concerning the compe 
tency between the sacred Congregations, tribunals and offices 
of the Roman Curia, a committee of Cardinals which the Ro 
man Pontiff shall designate will decide the question. (Canon 

Article I. The Roman Congregations. 

166. Each of the Congregations is presided over by a 
Cardinal Prefect, or if the Roman Pontiff is himself the Pre 
fect of the Congregation, it shall be directed by a Cardinal 
Secretary. To the prefects are joined as many Cardinals 
as the Pontiff may think fit to assign, together with other 
necessary assistants. (Canon 246.) 

167. The Congregation of the Holy Office, of which 
the Supreme Pontiff is the prefect, guards the doctrines on 
faith and morals. 

It judges crimes which according to its own proper law 
are reserved to it, with the power to judge these criminal 
cases not only in the case of appeals from the court of the 
local Ordinaries, but also in the first instance, if the case has 
been directly brought before this Congregation. 

It has exclusive jurisdiction in cases concerning the 
Pauline privilege in marriage, disparity of cult and mixed 
religion, and to this Congregation belongs the power to dis 
pense from these impediments. It is left to the judgment 
of the Congregation to give the case over to another Con 
gregation or to the tribunal of the Roman Rota. 

All questions of forbidden books are subject to this Con 

The eucharistic fast for priests who say Holy Mass is 
exclusively subject to this Congregation. (Canon 247.) 

168. The Consistorial Congregation has the Roman 
Pontiff as Prefect. The Cardinal Secretary of the Holy Of 
fice, the Prefect of the Congregation of Seminaries and Uni 
versities and the Secretary of State belong ex officio to this 
Congregation. Among the consultors of the Consistorial 


Congregation are numbered the Assessor of the Holy Office, 
the Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Affairs 
of the Church, and the Secretary of the Congregation of 
Seminaries and Universities. 

This Congregation prepares the matters to be treated 
in the consistory, it appoints bishops, coadjutor and auxiliary 
bishops, erects and divides dioceses, in districts not subject 
to the Propaganda, and receives and examines the reports 
of the bishops on the state and condition of their respective 
dioceses. (Canon 248.) 

169. The Congregation of the Sacraments has charge 
of the disciplinary regulations concerning the seven Sacra 
ments, with the exception of what is reserved to the Holy 
Office in Canon 247 and to the Congregation of Rites. Dis 
pensations from marriage impediments and dispensations in 
other Sacraments are under the jurisdiction of this Congre 
gation, except what is given expressly to other Congrega 
tions. The question of the matrimonium inconsummatum, 
examination of reasons for granting the dispensation and 
whatever is connected with it belongs to this Congregation. 
Also questions concerning the validity of marriage, of sacred 
orders and of other Sacraments, can be brought before this 
Congregation which according to its own judgment may turn 
the cases over to the tribunal of the Roman Rota. (Canon 

170. The Congregation of the Council has charge of 
the entire discipline of the secular clergy and the Christian 
people. The observance of the precepts of the Church, con 
duct of the pastors and of canons of cathedral and collegiate 
chapters, pious sodalities and unions, even those in charge 
of religious, pious legacies, institutions of charity, Mass sti 
pends, benefices and offices, church property, diocesan taxes, 
taxes of the episcopal curias, are subject to this Congre 

The celebration and approval of Provincial and National 
Councils and meetings of bishops outside of places subject 
to the Propaganda. (Canon 250.) 

171. The Congregation of the Religious has exclusive 
jurisdiction over the Religious Orders and congregations, and 
over communities which, even if they have no vows, lead a 


community life after the manner of the religious. The gov 
ernment, discipline, studies, goods and property, privileges, 
dispensations from the common law of the Church for the 
religious, with the exception of the eucharistic fast for the 
celebration of Holy Mass, are subject to this Congregation. 
In districts subject to the Propaganda certain of these rights 
are given to that Congregation as is stated in the following 
Canon. (Canon 251.) 

172. The Congregation of the Propagation of the 
Faith has charge of the Catholic missions for the spread of 
the faith, and whatever is connected with and necessary for 
the management of the missons. Councils held in mission 
ary countries are subject to the Propaganda. Its jurisdiction 
is limited to those districts where either the hierarchy is 
not yet established, or, if established, is still in its initial 
stage. Societies and seminaries founded exclusively for the 
training of missionaries are under the jurisdiction of the 

The Propaganda is held to refer to the competent Con 
gregations the cases concerning faith, marriage or general 
rules of the sacred liturgy and interpretation of liturgical 

As regards the religious, the Propaganda has jurisdic 
tion over them in as far as they are missionaries, individually 
and collectively; in their character as religious they are 
under the jurisdiction of the Congregation of the Religious. 
(Canon 252.) 

173. The Congregation of Sacred Rites has authority 
to watch over and regulate the sacred rites and ceremonies 
of the Latin Rite. Whatever belongs only remotely to the 
sacred rites, as, for instance, the rights of precedence, and 
rights of that kind, is not subject to the Congregation of 
Sacred Rites. The Congregation grants exemptions from 
the liturgical laws, insignia to be worn at the sacred func 
tions, and other privileges of honor. 

The causes of beatification and canonization, and all 
questions concerning sacred relics, are subject to the Con 
gregation of Sacred Rites. (Canon 253.) 

174. The Ceremonial Congregation regulates the cere 
monies in the pontifical chapel and the papal court, and the 


sacred functions which the Cardinals perform outside the 
papal chapel. This Congregation decides the questions of 
precedence among the Cardinals, as well as of the legates 
whom the various nations send to the Holy See. (Canon 

175. The Congregation for Extraordinary Affairs of 

the Church has jurisdiction to constitute, divide dioceses 
and appoint bishops in those instances where the civil gov 
ernments have to be dealt with. It also has to handle those 
cases that the Supreme Pontiff through the Secretary of 
State may turn over to this Congregation, especially matters 
that refer to the civil laws and to agreements of the Holy 
See with the various nations. (Canon 255.) 

176. The Congregation of Seminary and University 
Studies has jurisdiction over the government, discipline, 
temporal administration and studies in seminaries, except 
those in charge of the Propaganda. The universities which 
are under the jurisdiction of the Church are in their govern 
ment and in their studies subject to this Congregation, in 
cluding those that are directed by some religious body. It 
approves new universities, gives authority to confer aca 
demical degrees and prescribes the requisites for conferring 
the degrees, and when there is question of a man distin 
guished for exceptional learning, it may itself confer on him 

The Cardinal Secretary of the Consistorial Congrega 
tion, among other Cardinals, belongs to the Congregation 
of Seminaries and Universities and the Assessor of the Con 
sistorial Congregation belongs to its consultors. (Canon 

177. The Congregation for the Oriental Church has 
for its Prefect the Roman Pontiff. To this Congregation are 
reserved all affairs of any kind referring to persons, disci 
pline and Rites of the Oriental Churches, even those of a 
mixed nature, that is to say, such as affect partly a Catholic 
of the Oriental and partly a Catholic of the Latin Rite, 
e. g. in marriages between Catholics of the Latin and the 
Oriental Rite, or an Oriental Priest celebrating Holy Mass 
in a church of the Latin Rite, and vice versa. 

The Congregation for the Oriental Church has for the 


Churches of the Oriental Rite all the powers of the other 
Congregations combined, saving the jurisdiction of the Holy 
Office, as stated in Canon 247. (Canon 257.) 

Article II. Tribunals of the Roman Curia. 

178. The Sacred Penitentiary is presided over by a 
Cardinal called the Major Poenitentiarius. The jurisdiction 
of this tribunal is limited to affairs concerning the internal 
forum, both sacramental and non-sacramental. It grants 
favors for the internal forum exclusively, as for instance, 
absolutions, dispensations, commutations, sanations, con 
donations. The Sacred Penitentiary does, moreover, dis 
cuss and decide questions of conscience. 

The use and concession of Indulgences is also subject 
to the Sacred Penitentiary, saving the right of the Holy 
Office to decide dogmatic questions on Indulgences and in- 
dulgenced prayers and devotions. (Canon 258.) 

179. The tribunals of The Roman Rota and The Sig- 
natura Apostolica decide cases that must be settled by can 
onical trial, within the limits and according to the rules 
laid down in Canons 1598-1605. (Canon 259.) 

Article III. Offices of the Roman Curia. 

180. The Apostolic Chancery, in charge of the Cardi 
nal Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, has the duty of 
drawing up and mailing the Apostolic Letters or Bulls for 
the appointment to benefices and offices made in consistory, 
for the erection of new provinces, dioceses, and chapters, 
and for other, more important, affairs of the Church. 

Such letters and bulls must not be written except by 
orders of the Consistorial Congregation in those matters 
over which it has authority, or by order of the Supreme 
Pontiff in other affairs, and the instructions given in each 
individual case must be observed. (Canon 260.) 

181. The Apostolic Dataria, in charge of the Cardinal 
Datarius of the Holy Roman Church, has the office of in 
vestigating the qualifications of candidates to be promoted 
to non-consistorial benefices reserved to the Holy See; to 
draw up and send out the Apostolic letters of appointment 
Jo these benefices; to exempt in conferring the benefices 


from conditions required, when the conferring does not be 
long to the Ordinary; to take care of the pensions and ob 
ligations which the Supreme Pontiff may impose in the 
appointment to the aforesaid benefices. (Canon 261.) 

182. The Camera Apostolica, in charge of the Cardi 
nal Camerarius of the Holy Roman Church, has the care 
and administration of the temporal goods and rights of the 
Holy See, especially for the time of vacancy, in which case 
the laws of the Constitution of Pope Pius X., Vacante Sede 
Apostolica, of December 25, 1904, must be observed. 
(Canon 262.) 

183. The Secretariate of State, in charge of the Car 
dinal Secretary of State, consists of three divisions : 

1. The first division, presided over by the Secretary of 
the Congregation for Extraordinary Affairs, attends to those 
matters which must be subjected for examination to that 
Congregation according to Canon 255. 

2. The second division, under the direction of the 
Substitutus, attends to daily business. 

3. The third division is under the direction of the 
Chancellor of Apostolic Breves and attends to the drawing 
up and mailing of Breves. (Canon 263.) 

184. The Secretariate of Breves to Princes and of 
Latin Letters has the office of writing in Latin the acts of 
the Supreme Pontiff which he may commit to it. (Canon 


Legates of the Roman Pontiff. 

185. The Roman Pontiff has the right, independently 
of any civil power, to send legates to any part of the world, 
either with or without ecclesiastical jurisdiction. (Canon 

186. The Papal Legate is called Legate a latere when 
the Supreme Pontiff sends out a Cardinal with this title to 
impersonate him like another "ego" and he has such facul 
ties as the Pope may give him. (Canon 266.) 

187. Legates who are sent with the title of Nuntius 
or Internuntius : 

1. Maintain according to the accepted rules of the 


Holy See the relations between the Holy See and the civil 
government of the country where they act as permanent 
legates ; 

2. In the territory assigned to them they must watch 
over the condition of the Church and make report to the 
Roman Pontiff; 

3. Besides these two, ordinary, powers, they usually 
receive other faculties which are in the nature of delegated 
jurisdiction ; 

Those who are sent with the title Delegate Apostolic 
have but one ordinary office or power, viz. that of watching 
over the Church and informing the Holy See. They do not 
stand in any official relation to the government. Other 
powers are granted to them by the Holy See in the form of 
delegated faculties. (Canon 267.) 

188. The office of the legates, with all the faculties 
committed to them, does not expire at the vacancy of the 
Holy See, unless the contrary should be stated in the papal 
letters. It ceases, however, when the object for which they 
were sent is accomplished, by revocation made known to 
the Legate, and by renunciation accepted by the Roman 
Pontiff. (Canon 268.) 

189. The legates are not to impede the free exercise 
of jurisdiction of the local Ordinaries. 

Though the legates may perhaps not be consecrated 
bishops, they precede all Ordinaries except Cardinals. 

If they are bishops, they can without permission of the 
Ordinaries bless the people and perform the liturgical func 
tion in pontificals, using also throne and canopy in all 
churches, except the cathedral. (Canon 269.) 

190. Bishops who on account of their see have the title 
of Apostolic Legates, do not thereby acquire any special 
right. (Canon 270.) 

Patriarchs, Primates, Metropolitans. 

Canons 271-280 speak of these dignitaries of the Church, 
he title of Patriarch and of Primate does not denote su 
perior jurisdiction but merely the honor of precedence The 


Patriarchs precede Primates, the Primates precede the Met 
ropolitans, the Metropolitans precede the bishops. In his 
own diocese, however, the bishop precedes all archbishops 
and bishops except Cardinals, Papal Legates and his own 
Metropolitan. (Canons 271 and 280.) 

191. The Metropolitan, or Archbishop, has the fol 
lowing rights of jurisdiction over the dioceses of the ecclesi 
astical province whose archbishop he is: 

1. The Metropolitan can put into office those who have 
been presented for a benefice, if the suffragan bishop with 
out a just impediment neglects to do so within the time speci 
fied in law. 

2. He can grant hundred days* indulgence, the same 
as in his own diocese. 

3. Appoint the vicar capitular, according to conditions 
of Canon 432, 2. 

4. Watch over the faithful observance of faith and dis 
cipline and report to the Roman Pontiff abuses in these 

5. To make the canonical visitation of the dioceses, if 
the suffragans neglect this duty, provided the Holy See has 
first judged of the case. 

6. To exercise the pontificals in all churches, even 
those exempt, notifying the bishop beforehand if the arch 
bishop wants to celebrate with pontificals in the cathedral. 
He may bless the people like the bishop in his own diocese 
and have the cross carried before him. Other acts import 
ing jurisdiction the archbishop may not perform in the dio 
ceses of the suffragan bishops. 

7. The archbishop receives appeals from the judicial 
sentences of the suffragans, and acts as the judge of the 
second instance. 

8. He acts as judge of the first instance in cases con 
cerning the rights or the temporal goods of the bishop, ac 
cording to Canon 1572, 2. (Canon 274.) 


Plenary and Provincial Councils. 

Canons 281-292 treat of Plenary and Provincial Coun 
cils. Here are a few of the more important Canons : 


192. The Ordinaries of several ecclesiastical provinces 
may meet in Plenary Council but they must first ask the 
permission of the Holy See, which will appoint a legate to 
convoke and preside over the Council. (Canon 281.) 

193. At the Plenary Council must be present the fol 
lowing persons who have a decisive vote : besides the Papal 
Legate, the archbishops, the residential bishops who may 
send the coadjutor or auxiliary bishop to take their place, 
the apostolic administrators of dioceses, abbots or prelates 
nullius, vicars apostolic, prefects apostolic, vicars capitular. 

Also titular bishops, staying in the territory where the 
Council is held, must, if called by the Papal Legate accord 
ing to his instructions, appear at the Council and they have 
a decisive vote, unless in the document of convocation other 
provisions are made. 

Other persons, of either the secular or the regular cler 
gy, if invited to the Council, have only a consultive vote. 
(Canon 282.) 

194. In each ecclesiastical province a Provincial 
Council shall be held at least every twenty years. (Canon 

195. The archbishop, or, if he should be legitimately 
impeded, or if the see should be vacant, the oldest (in pro 
motion to the suffragan see) bishop shall appoint the place 
within the province where the Council is to be held, after 
he has consulted all those who have a right to assist with a 
decisive vote. The archiepiscopal church should not be neg 
lected, if there is no just cause why the Council should not 
be held there. The archbishop, or the oldest suffragan 
bishop, convokes the Council. (Canon 284.) 

196. To the Provincial Council are to be called the 
following who have a decisive vote: all suffragan bishops, 
the abbots and prelates nullius and suffragan bishops who 
are not subject to any archbishop, and who have to choose 
with the approval of the Holy See the province to which 
they wish to belong; finally all others mentioned in Canon 
282, are to be called. 

Titular bishops who are staying in the province can be 
called by the president with the consent of the majority of 
those who have a decisive vote, and if they are called, they 


have a decisive vote unless the contrary is stated in the con 

The cathedral Chapters, or diocesan consultors of those 
bishops who take part in the Council, should be invited to 
the Council and if invited, they should send two of the 
Chapter or two consultors selected by common vote, who 
shall have only a consultive vote in the Council. 

The major superiors of clerical exempt Orders and of 
monastic congregations who live within the province must 
be invited, and if invited must either appear or give reason 
to the Council why they are prevented to come. These, 
however, as also others that might be called to the Council, 
have only a consultive vote. (Canon 286.) 

197. The acts of the Plenary and the Provincial Coun 
cil must be subjected to the revision and approval of the 
Sacred Congregation of the Council before they are pub 
lished. (Canon 291.) 

198. A conference of the bishops of each ecclesiastical 
province is to held at least every five years, to be called by 
the archbishop, or in case of vacancy of the archiepiscopal 
see or other impediment on the part of the archbishop, by 
the oldest suffragan. At the meeting the place for the next 
meeting should be agreed upon. (Canon 292.) 

Vicars and Prefects Apostolic. (Canons 293-311.) 


Administrators Apostolic. 

199. The Holy See sometimes appoints for a canon- 
ically erected diocese an administrator apostolic, either while 
the bishop is still alive or when the see is vacant. (Canon 

200. If the administrator apostolic is appointed for a 
diocese while the bishop is still in possession of the see, he 
takes canonical possession of the administration by showing 
his letters of nomination to the Chapter as well as to the 
bishop, if the latter is of sound mind. 

If the see is vacant, or the bishop is not of sound mind, 


or not residing in the diocese, the administrator apostolic 
takes possession in the same way as the bishop, according 
to Canon 334, 3. (Canon 313.) 

201. The rights, duties and privileges of the adminis 
trator apostolic are either according to special instructions 
or to the following Canons. (Canon 314.) 

202. The administrator apostolic who is permanently 
appointed has the same rights, honors and duties as the resi 
dential bishop. 

If he is appointed temporarily, he has the same rights 
and duties as the vicar capitular. If the bishop is still in 
possession, he can nevertheless visit the diocese according 
to the rules of Canon Law, and he is not obliged to apply 
Holy Mass for the people which obligation rests with the 
bishop. (Canon 315.) 

203. If the administrator apostolic is appointed to rule 
the diocese while the bishop retains his see, the jurisdiction 
of the bishop and of his vicar general is suspended. (Canon 

204. If the administrator dies or is otherwise impeded 
from acting, the Holy See must be notified. (Canon 317.) 

205. The jurisdiction of the administrator apostolic 
does not cease with the death of the Roman Pontiff or the 
bishop, but ceases when a bishop has legitimately taken 
possession of the vacant diocese according to Canon 334, 3. 
(Canon 318.) 


Inferior Prelates. 

206. Prelates who rule over the clergy and people of a 
district that is separated from every other diocese are called 
either abbots or prelates nullius, i. e. of no diocese; abbots 
nullius, if their church is abbatial; prelates nullius, if their 
church is a secular prelacy. 

The abbacy or prelacy nullius that does not consist of 
at least three parishes is ruled by special laws, and to such 
does not apply what the Canons state concerning abbacies 
and prelacies nullius. ( Canon 319.) 

207. Abbots and prelates nullius have the same or 
dinary jurisdiction as the bishop. Even though they be not 


consecrated bishops they have the right to consecrate 
churches and immovable altars, give all blessings reserved 
to bishops, excepting only the pontifical blessing, consecrate 
chalices, patens, portable altars, with the holy oils blessed 
by a bishop, grant indulgences of fifty days, give Confirma 
tion, first tonsure and minor orders. Confer Canons 782, 3 
and 957, 2. (Canon 323.) 

208. The abbots and prelates nullius, though they be 
not consecrated bishops, can make use in their territory of 
the insignia of a bishop with throne and canopy and cele 
brate there the sacred functions according to the pontificate. 
The pectoral cross, the ring with the gem, and the purple 
cap, they may wear also outside their territory. (Canon 

209. The rights and privileges of the domestic prelates 
of the Roman Pontiff, both those who have the title of pre 
lates and those who have not, are regulated by the laws and 
customs of the papal palace. (Canon 328.) 

Episcopal Jurisdiction and Participants of the Same. 


210. The bishops are the successors of the Apostles and 
are placed by Divine law over the individual churches, 
which they govern with ordinary authority under the author 
ity of the Roman Pontiff. They are freely appointed by the 
Pope. If some college has received the right to elect the 
bishop, Canon 321 shall be observed, which requires the 
absolute majority of votes of all those who have the right to 
vote. (Canon 329.) 

211. Before a person is elevated to the episcopate, 
proof must be furnished in the manner prescribed by the 
Holy See that the individual is worthy. (Canon 330.) 

212. The requisites of a candidate for the episcopate 

1. He must be born of legitimate wedlock. (Even 
those legitimatized by subsequent marriage are excluded.) 


2. He must be at least thirty years of age. 

3. He must have been ordained priest for at least five 

4. He must be of good character, piety, zeal for souls, 
prudent and otherwise qualified to govern the diocese about 
which there is question. 

5. He must be a doctor or licentiate in theology or 
Canon Law, in an institution of learning approved by the 
Holy See, or must at least be well versed in these sciences. 
If the candidate is a religious he must have received from the 
major superiors a similar degree, or at least have their testi 
mony certifying to his learning. 

Also those who are elected, presented or designated 
for a bishopric by persons who have the privilege from the 
Holy See to elect, or present or designate, must have the 
aforesaid qualifications. 

The Holy See has the exclusive right to pass judgment 
on the qualification of any candidate for the episcopate. 
(Canon 331.) 

213. Every candidate to the episcopate, even those 
elected, presented or designated by the civil government, 
needs the canonical provision or institution in order to be 
the lawful bishop of a vacant diocese. The only one to in 
stitute a bishop is the Roman Pontiff. (Canon 332.) 

214. Unless prevented by legitimate impediment, the 
person promoted to the episcopate, even though he be a 
Cardinal, must within three months from the receipt of the 
Apostolic letters receive the consecration and go to his dio 
cese within four months. (Canon 333.) 

215. The residential bishops are the ordinary and im 
mediate pastors in the dioceses committed to them. 

They cannot exercise their jurisdiction, either by them 
selves or through others, unless they have first taken 
canonical possession of the diocese. If they were vicars 
capitular, officials, economi in the diocese before their de 
signation to the bishopric they can continue to retain and 
exercise these offices. 

They take canonical possession of the diocese as soon 
as they exhibit, in person or by a procurator, the Apostolic 
letters to the cathedral Chapter, the secretary of the Chapter 


or the chancellor of the Curia being present to make official 
entry of the fact in the acts of the diocese. In countries 
where there are no cathedral Chapters the diocesan con- 
suitors take the place of the Chapter. (Canon 334.) 

216. The bishop has the right and the duty to govern 
the diocese in spiritual affairs as well as in temporal, and 
has to this end legislative, judicial and coercive power which 
must be exercised according to the laws of the sacred 

The laws of the bishop begin to bind immediately when 
promulgated unless he provides otherwise in the same laws. 
The manner of promulgation is determined by the bishop 
himself. (Canon 335.) 

217. The bishop must urge the observance of the laws 
of the Church and he cannot dispense with the common law 
except in as far as Canon 81 allows. (Canon 336.) 

218. The bishop can everywhere in his diocese exer 
cise the pontifical functions, even in exempt places. Outside 
the diocese he cannot exercise pontifical functions except 
with at least the reasonably presumed consent of the Or 
dinary of the place, and, if there is question of an exempt 
church, the consent of the religious superior. 

To exercise the pontificals means to perform those func 
tions in which according to the laws of liturgy the use of 
the pontifical insignia of the crozier and the mitre is de 

When the bishop grants to another the permission to 
exercise the pontificals in his diocese, he may also allow 
the use of the throne and the canopy. (Canon 337.) 

219. The bishop is obliged to reside personally in the 
diocese, although he has a coadjutor bishop. 

The bishop may not be absent from his diocese more 
than two or at most three months, either continuous or in 
terrupted, in a year. This is the time allowed for vacation; 
regarding the visit ad limina, absence to attend the Provin 
cial or Plenary Council, or on account of a civil office legiti 
mately connected with his church, such absence is not 
counted. In order, however, that the bishop may not be 
absent from his diocese for too long a period at one time, 
this Canon forbids to combine the months of vacation with, 


and add them to, the time required for the visit ad limina, 
etc., and for a newly appointed bishop to add the vacation 
to the months allowed until he must take up his residence 
in the diocese. 

The bishop should not be absent from the cathedral 
church in Advent, Lent, on Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, 
Corpus Christi, except for grave and urgent reasons. (Can 
on 338.) 

220. The bishop must apply Holy Mass for the people 
of his diocese on all Sundays and holidays of obligation, also 
those suppressed. 

On Christmas, or on Sundays on which a holiday of 
obligation falls, it is sufficient to apply one Holy Mass for 
the people. 

If a holiday of obligation is transferred in such a way 
that on the day to which it is transferred not only the Mass 
and office but also the obligation of hearing Holy Mass and 
the duty to abstain from servile work is transferred, Holy 
Mass is to be applied for the people on the transferred day, 
otherwise on the day of the feast. 

The bishop must on these days apply Holy Mass him 
self; if he is legitimately prevented from saying Holy Mass, 
he may have it applied by another. If he cannot do that, 
he must as soon as possible apply Holy Mass either himself 
or through another. 

If a bishop has two dioceses that are united aeque prin- 
cipaliter, or in addition to his own diocese is administrator 
of another, he satisfies his obligation by applying one Holy 
Mass for all the people in his charge. 

If the bishop should not have satisfied the obligation 
spoken of in this Canon, he shall as soon as possible supply 
the number of Masses omitted. (Canon 339.) 

221. Every bishop is held to make report of the state 
of his diocese every five years according to the formulas 
issued by the Holy See. 

The five years 5 term is fixed and runs from January 1, 
911. In the first year of the quinquennium report must be 
made by the bishops of Italy, the islands of Corsica, Sardi 
nia, Sicily, Melita, and the other small islands off the coast; 
m the second year the bishops of Spain, Portugal, France, 


Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland with the ad 
jacent isles; in the third year the other bishops of Europe 
with the adjacent isles; in the fourth year the bishops of all 
America and the adjacent isles; in the fifth year the bishops 
of Africa, Asia, Australia and the islands in these parts of 
the world. 

If the year assigned for the report should fall entirely 
or in part within the first two years of the bishop s reign of 
the diocese, the bishop may for that term abstain from send 
ing a report to the Holy See. (Canon 340.) 

222. The bishops who are to make the report are to 
go to Rome that same year to venerate the tomb of the 
Holy Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, and to appear before 
the Roman Pontiff. 

The bishops, however, who are outside of Europe have 
permission to make the visit ad limina every ten years. 
(Canon 341.) 

223. The bishop must make the visit ad limina in per 
son or through his coadjutor if he has any, or for just rea 
sons, to be approved of by the Holy See, through a qualified 
priest who resides in the diocese of the bishop. (Canon 342.) 

224. The bishop must visit the entire diocese at least 
once in five years either in person, or, if legitimately ex 
cused, through his vicar general, or another priest. 

The bishop has the right to take two of the clergy, even 
those of the cathedral Chapter, or any other he may choose, 
as companions on his visitation. No contrary custom or 
privilege restricting this right of the bishop is recognized 
in law. 

If the bishop neglects to hold the visitation the arch 
bishop has the right to interfere, according to Canon 274, 
nn. 4, 5. (Canon 343.) 

225. To the visitation of the bishop are subject the 
persons, goods and pious institutions, even though exempt, 
within the limits of his diocese, unless special exemption is 
proved to have been granted them by the Holy See. 

The bishop can visit the exempt religious only in the 
cases stated in law. (Canon 344.) 

226. The visitor should proceed in a paternal manner 
concerning the object and purpose of the visitation. From 


the precepts and decrees given in the visitation there is al 
lowed only an appeal in devolutivo. In other cases, i. e. mat 
ters outside the scope of the visitation, the bishop, even at 
the time of visitation, must proceed according to the rules 
of law. The appeal in devolutivo means that the orders must 
be obeyed in the meantime even though a complaint regard 
ing their fairness or justice is sent to the higher authorities. 
(Canon 345.) 

227. The visitation should not be unduly prolonged, no 
unnecessary expense should be put on the places visited, and 
no donation should be allowed to be given either to the 
bishop or to any of the men accompanying the bishop. All 
contrary customs are disapproved. Concerning the living 
and traveling expenses for the bishop and his companions 
the legitimate custom of the various dioceses should be ad 
hered to. (Canon 346.) 

228. In his own diocese the bishop precedes all arch 
bishops and bishops except his own archbishop, Cardinals 
and Papal Legates; while outside his own diocese the rules 
of Canon 106 are to be observed. (Canon 347.) 

229. Titular bishops cannot exercise any act of juris 
diction in the diocese of their title, neither do they take 
possession of that diocese. 

Charity should urge them to apply sometimes Holy 
Mass for the titular diocese but there is no obligation to do 
so. (Canon 348.) 

230. The following privileges are granted to bishops, 
both residential and titular, from the time they receive 
authentic notification of the canonical promotion: 

1. Besides other privileges mentioned in the various 
titles of the Code, they enjoy the privileges in Canon 239, 1, 
nn. 7-12; viz. to celebrate with the portable altar not only 
in their own residence, but wherever they travel, and to 
permit another Mass to be celebrated at which they assist; 
to celebrate on the ocean, observing due precautions; to 
celebrate in all churches and oratories Holy Mass according 
to their own calendar; to have the benefit of the personal 
privileged altar; to gain in their own private chapel those 
indulgences for which the visit to a church or public place 
of worship is prescribed in the town or city where they ac- 


tually stay, which privilege is shared by their servants; to 
bless the people after the manner of the bishops, but in the 
City of Rome in churches only and pious institutions and at 
gatherings of the faithful; n. 2 of the same Canon, viz. to 
elect a confessor for themselves and their servants who, if 
he should not have any jurisdiction, receives it by the very 
fact of being chosen, and has power to absolve from the re 
servations of the local Ordinary and from all papal reserved 
sins and censures with the exception of those specialissimo 
modo reserved and those that are incurred by the revelation 
of a secret of the Holy Office; n. 3 of Canon 239, viz. to 
preach the Word of God everywhere with at least the pre 
sumed consent of the local Ordinary; n. 4, viz. to celebrate, 
or to permit another to celebrate in their presence, one Holy 
Mass on Holy Thursday, and three Holy Masses at mid 
night on Christmas, provided they are not obliged to cele 
brate in their cathedral; nn. 5, 6, viz. to bless everywhere 
with the prescribed rites of the Church beads, rosaries and 
other crowns of prayer, crosses, medals, statues, scapulars 
approved by the Holy See with all the indulgences attached 
to these objects by the Holy See; to bless in churches, ora 
tories, even in private ones, and other pious places the Sta 
tions of the Way of the Cross; to bless crucifixes with the 
indulgences of the Way of the Cross for those who through 
sickness or other legitimate cause cannot make the Stations 
in places where they are erected. 

They have the right to wear the episcopal insignia ac 
cording to the liturgical laws. 

2. Residential bishops from the moment that they 
have taken possession of their diocese have the right, (1) to 
receive the income of the mensa episcopalis; (2) to grant 
fifty days indulgence in places of their jurisdiction; (3) to 
erect in all churches of their diocese the throne with the 
canopy. (Canon 349.) 

Coadjutors and Auxiliary Bishops. 

231. The Roman Pontiff only can give to a bishop a 


The coadjutor as a rule is given to the person of a bishop 
with the right of succession, sometimes also to the see. 

The coadjutor given the person of the bishop without 
the right of succession is called by the special name of 
auxiliary. (Canon 350.) 

232. The rights of the coadjutor given to the person of 
a bishop are to be learned from the Apostolic letters of ap 

Unless otherwise stated in these letters, the coad 
jutor given a bishop who is quite incapacitated, has all the 
rights and duties of the bishop; in other cases he can exer 
cise only such duties as the bishop may commit to him. 

What the coadjutor can do and is willing to do, the 
bishop should not habitually delegate to another. 

The coadjutor has the duty to perform the pontifical 
and other functions which the bishop would have to per 
form himself as often as he is requested by his bishop and 
is able to attend to them. (Canon 351.) 

233. The coadjutor who is given to the see can in the 
territory of the diocese exercise the functions of the episco 
pate, except the sacred ordination. In other affairs he can 
do only as much as has been committed to him either by the 
Holy See or by the bishop. (Canon 352.) 

234. In order that the coadjutor may take canonical 
possession of his office it is necessary that he show his Apos 
tolic letters of appointment to the bishop. 

The coadjutor with the right of succession and the coad 
jutor given to the see must, moreover, show the letters of 
appointment also to the Chapter (in countries where there 
are no Chapters, to the diocesan consultors) according to 
Canon 334, 3. 

If the bishop s condition should have gone to such a 
stage that he is not capable of eliciting a human act, coadju 
tors of any kind need not show the letters to him but only 
to the Chapter. (Canon 353.) 

235. Every coadjutor is bound, like the bishop him 
self, to reside in the diocese from which, outside of the period 
of vacation, as provided by Canon 338, he is not allowed to 
be absent except for a short time and with the permission 
of his bishop. (Canon 354.) 


236. The coadjutor with the right of succession be 
comes immediately at the vacancy of the bishopric the Or 
dinary of the diocese for which he was appointed, provided 
he took legitimate possession of his office according to 
Canon 353. 

The office of the auxiliary expires with the office of the 
bishop, unless it is stated otherwise in the Apostolic letters 
of appointment. 

If the coadjutor was given to the see, his office con 
tinues also when the see becomes vacant, (Canon 355.) 

The Diocesan Synod. 

237. The Diocesan Synod, to be held every ten years 
at least, is to treat such questions only as touch the partic 
ular needs of the clergy and people of that diocese. (Canon 

238. The Diocesan Synod is convoked and presided 
over by the bishop, not by the vicar general except by spe 
cial mandate, nor by the vicar capitular. It is to be held 
in the cathedral, unless there is good reason to have it else 
where. (Canon 357.) 

239. To the Synod must be called, with the duty to 
answer the call: (1) the vicar general; (2) the canons of 
the cathedral or the consultors; (3) the rector of the dio 
cesan seminary, at least of the major seminary; (4) the 
deans; (5) one deputee of each collegiate church to be chosen 
from among the members by the collegiate Chapter; (6) the 
pastors of the city where the Synod is being held; (7) one 
pastor at least from each deanery to be elected by all the 
priests of the district who ha ve the care of souls (pastors 
and assistants), and the pastors must provide priests to take 
their places in their parishes during their absence; (8) the 
abbots who are actual superiors, and one of the superiors of 
each clerical order of those who live in the diocese, to be 
designated by the provincial. If the residence of the provin 
cial is in the diocese he may go to the Synod himself instead 
of sending one of the superiors. 

If the bishop wishes he may call to the Synod also 


others, namely all the canons, pastors, religious superiors, 
even any of the secular priests of the diocese, provided 
enough priests are left to attend to the care of souls. Those 
invited have the right to vote just as the others, unless the 
bishop in the invitation states otherwise. (Canon 358.) 

240. Those who must come to the Synod and are im 
peded by some legitimate impediment cannot send a pro 
curator in their place, but they must notify the bishop why 
they cannot come. Those who neglect to come to the Synod 
may be compelled by the bishop with just penalties, except 
exempt religious who are not pastors. (Canon 359.) 

241. The bishop may before the Synod appoint commit 
tees who are to prepare the subjects for discussion in the 
Synod. Before the sessions open a schedule of the subjects 
to be discussed is to be given to all who answered the call to 
the Synod. (Canon 360.) 

242. The proposed questions are to be submitted by 
the bishop, or the one presiding in his place, to the free dis 
cussion of the members of the Synod in the preliminary ses 
sions. (Canon 361.) 

243. The bishop is the only legislator in the Synod, 
the others having only a consultive vote. He alone signs 
the laws passed in the Synod, which, if they are promulgated 
in the Synod, begin to go into force immediately, unless the 
bishop decrees otherwise. (Canon 362.) 

The Diocesan Curia. 

244. The Diocesan Curia consist of those persons who 
assist the bishop, or the one who in place of the bishop 
rules the diocese, in the government of the diocese. To the 
Curia belong the vicar general, the official (cf. Can. 1573 
as to his office and appointment), the chancellor, the pro- 
motor of justice, the defensor vinculi, the synodal judges and 
examiners, the parochial consultors, the auditors, notaries, 
cursors and the apparitors. (Canon 363.) 

245. The nomination of those who are to hold the 
aforesaid offices and appointments should be done in writ 
ing, as Canon 159 demands. 


Those nominated must (1) take an oath before the 
bishop that they will faithfully attend to their office without 
respect of persons; (2) transact their respective duties under 
the authority of the bishop according to the rules of law; 
(3) keep the secret within the bounds and according to the 
requirements of law or the command of the bishop. (Canon 

246. Concerning the official, the promoter of justice, 
the defender of the marriage bond, the synodal judges, the 
auditors, cursors and apparitors, the laws of Canons 1573- 
1593 shall be observed; the other officials are to be guided 
by the following Canons. (Canon 365.) 

Article I. The Vicar General. 

247. Whenever the proper government of the diocese 
demands it a vicar general is to be instituted by the bishop 
to assist him, with ordinary jurisdiction in the entire diocese. 

The bishop does not need the consent of any one in the 
appointment of his vicar and he can remove him at will. 

As a rule, there should be but one vicar general, un 
less either the diversities of Rites or the size of the diocese 
demand otherwise. If the vicar is absent or impeded to act, 
the bishop may appoint some one else to take his place. 
(Canon 366.) 

248. The vicar general should be a priest of the secular 
clergy, at least thirty years of age, a doctor or licentiate in 
theology and Canon Law, or at least perfectly conversant 
with these subjects, and commendable for sound doctrine, 
probity of life, prudence and experience. 

If the diocese has been committed to a Religious Order 
the vicar general may be an alumnus of the same Order. 

The office of vicar general must not be given to the 
Canon Penitentiary, or to a blood relation of the bishop in 
the first or in the second degree mixed with the first, or, 
excepting the case of necessity, to a pastor and others hav 
ing the care of souls. The bishop is not forbidden to take 
the vicar from his own diocese even though he would have 
to take one of those whom this Canon does not desire to be 
appointed to that office. (Canon 367.) 

249. The vicar general has by virtue of his office in 


the entire diocese jurisdiction in spiritual and temporal mat 
ters to the extent of the bishop s ordinary jurisdiction, ex 
cepting only those affairs which the bishop has reserved 
to himself, or which by law demand a special mandate of the 

Unless the law state otherwise, the vicar general can 
execute the rescripts of the Holy See which are sent to the 
bishop or his predecessor in the diocese, and in general he 
has the faculties which are habitually given to the Ordinary 
by the Holy See, as Canon 66 states. Habitual faculties are 
called all those that do not refer to one individual case, for 
Canon 66 calls habitual faculties not only those given in per- 
petuum, but also those for a definite period of time or a 
certain number of cases. The same Canon also states that, 
unless there is an exception made, all these faculties of the 
bishop are considered given also to the vicar general. (Can 
on 368.) 

250. The vicar general should refer to the bishop the 
principal acts of the Curia, inform him of what has been, or 
is to be done, to safeguard discipline among the clergy and 
people. He should take care not to use his powers contrary 
to the good pleasure of the bishop. Canon 44, 2 decrees 
that a favor asked of and refused by the vicar general cannot 
be asked of the bishop without mentioning the appeal to, 
and refusal of, the vicar general, otherwise the bishop s con 
cession is null and void. A favor which was refused by the 
bishop cannot validly be granted by the vicar general, even 
though the refusal of the bishop is mentioned. (Canon 369.) 

251. The vicar general has within the diocese prece 
dence over any other priests, even the dignitaries of the 
cathedral Chapter. The only ones who precede him are 
those who have the order of the episcopate, e. g. a titular 
bishop. If the vicar general is a titular bishop he has all 
the privileges of honor of these bishops; if he is not a bishop, 
he has during the time of his office the privileges and in 
signia of titular protonotary apostolic. The Protonotaries 
apostolic are not monsignori or domestic prelates. The 
cassock of titular protonotaries is black, as is also the silken 
sash which hangs down on the left side; this girdle may end 
in two tassels. The Protonotary may wear the rochettum 


and black mantle. At Holy Mass and other solemn func 
tions he may use the extra candle on a small stand with a 
handle called the "Palmatoria" (Canon 370.) 

252. The jurisdiction of the vicar general expires by 
resignation made according to the Canons 183-191, or by 
the revocation of the bishop made known to the vicar, or, 
finally, by the vacancy of the bishopric. If the bishop s juris 
diction is suspended, that of the vicar suffers the same fate. 
(Canon 371.) 

Article II. The Chancellor, Other Notaries, the Episcopal 


253. In every Curia the bishop should appoint a chan 
cellor who must be a priest, and whose office is principally 
to keep the acts of the Curia in the archives, to arrange them 
in chronological order and make an index of the same. If 
needs be, he may have an assistant whose title shall be vice- 
chancellor. The chancellor is by his very office a notary. 
(Canon 372.) 

254. The bishop may also appoint besides the chan 
cellor other notaries whose signature is recognized by the 
church in her courts. The bishop may appoint a notary 
either in general for all acts or for specified acts or occa 
sions only. He may also appoint lay men as notaries, if 
clerics are not available, but in criminal cases of the clergy 
the notary must be a priest. (Canon 373.) 

255. The office of a notary is (1) to write the acts 
and transactions in judicial proceedings; (2) to faithfully 
consign to writing the proceedings, adding place, day, 
month and year, and his own signature; (3) to show to 
those who have a right to see them the acts and documents 
on file and to attest that copies agree with the original. 

The notary cannot write acts outside the diocese where 
he is appointed as notary nor for affairs beyond his appoint 
ment. (Canon 374.) 

256. The bishop should have a safe and convenient 
place for the archives of the diocese. A catalogue or index 
of all the documents with a summary of its contents should 
be carefully made. (Canon 375.) 


257. Each year within the first two months the cata 
logue should be brought up to date, classifying the docu 
ments of the past year. The Ordinary should inquire about 
the documents missing from the archives, and he has author 
ity to use any necessary means to have them returned. 
(Canon 376.) 

258. The archives must be kept locked and no one 
else except the chancellor shall have a key to it. Without 
the permission of the bishop or the vicar general and the 
chancellor no one is allowed to enter the archives. (Canon 

259. Without the bishop s or vicar general s permis 
sion no one is allowed to take any document out of the 
archives and they must be returned after three days. The 
Ordinary only may allow a longer period of time which, 
however, should not easily be granted. He who takes any 
document out of the archives must leave a signed receipt 
for it with the chancellor. (Canon 378.) 

260. The bishop should also have a special place 
where are kept documents that should remain secret. Each 
year, as soon as possible, the documents of trials for bad 
behavior, the subjects of which have passed this life, or in 
whose case ten years have elapsed since their condemna 
tion, should be taken out of the archives and burnt. A 
brief summary of the case and the text of the definite sen 
tence should be preserved. 

The secret archives should be so constructed that they 
can be opened only by the use of two different keys, one 
to be kept by the bishop or administrator apostolic, the 
other by the vicar general, or if there is no vicar, by the 
chancellor. Only the bishop may ask for the other key 
to open, without any witness, the secret archives. (Canon 

261. The documents to be kept in the parochial or 
the episcopal Curia s archives and not of a secret character 
shall be free for inspection to any one interested; and per 
sons have the right to ask that a legal copy be made and 
given to them if they are willing to bear the expense. 

The chancellors of the Curias, the pastors, and others, 
who are custodians of archives, shall in the communication 


of documents and in the writing out and giving them to 
others observe the rules given by the legitimate ecclesias 
tical authority and in doubtful cases the Ordinary of the 
place is to be consulted. (Canon 384.) 

Article III. Synodal Examiners and Parochial Con- 

262. In each diocese there must be synodal examiners 
and parochial consultors, who are all instituted in the 
synod, the bishop proposing, the synod approving them. 
There should be as many as the bishop judges necessary, 
not less, however, than four, and not more than twelve. 
(Canon 385.) 

263. If any of the synodal examiners or the parochial 
consultors die, or otherwise go out of office, in the time 
between the synods, the bishop may appoint others, called 
pro-synodal, with the advice of the cathedral Chapter or 
the diocesan consultors. This rule should also be followed 
in appointing examiners and parochial consultors whenever 
no synod is held. (Canon 386.) 

264. The examiners and parochial consultors, whether 
instituted -in the synod or outside of it, go out of office 
after ten years, or also sooner, if the synod is held. They 
can, however, finish an affair of their office which they had 
begun to handle, and they may be reappointed, provided the 
rules of law are observed. Those who are appointed in 
place of examiners or parochial consultors who go out of 
office before their term is up, remain in office only as long 
as those would have remained in whose place they were 
chosen. (Canon 387.) 

265. They cannot be removed from office by the 
bishop except for a grave reason and with the advice of the 
cathedral Chapter, or the diocesan consultors. (Canon 388.) 

266. The synodal examiners should faithfully lend 
their services, especially in the examinations for the ap 
pointment of pastors and in the trials, as prescribed in Canon 
2147 and following. (Canon 389.) 

For the examination of the candidates for ordination, 
and of priests to be approved for confessions or for preach- 


ing, and for the yearly examination of the junior clergy, 
the bishop is free to either call the examiners or others. 

267. The same person can be both examiner and 
parochial consultor, not, however, in the same case. 
(Canon 390.) 

Chapters of Canons. (Canons 391-422.) 

Diocesan Consultors. 

268. In those dioceses in which it has not yet been pos 
sible to institute, or to revive former, cathedral Chapters of 
canons, the bishop shall appoint diocesan consultors, except 
where the Holy See has given special laws to some diocese. 
(Canon 423.) 

269. The consultors are nominated by the bishop, ob 
serving Canon 426. (Canon 424.) 

270. There shall be at least six diocesan consultors; in 
dioceses where there are few priests at least four consultors, 
and all consultors must live either in the episcopal city or in 
nearby places. 

Before they undertake this office, they must take an oath 
that they will faithfully attend to their office without respect 
of persons. (Canon 425.) 

271. The office of consultors lasts for three years. 

When the three years are up the bishop shall either ap 
point others, or reappoint the same ones for another term of 
three years, which rule shall be followed every triennium. 
If any of the consultors go out of office before their three 
years term is up, the bishop shall appoint others in their 
place, with the advice of the other consultors as to who shall 
fill out the term. If the consultor s term expires during the 
vacancy of the bishopric, the consultors remain in office until 
the new bishop takes possession, and he is to provide within 
the first six months according to this Canon. If during the 
vacancy any one of the consultors dies or resigns, the vicar 
capitular (or the administrator) shall, with the consent of the 
other consultors, nominate a substitute who needs, however, 


the confirmation of the bishop to continue in office after the 
new bishop has taken possession. (Canon 426.) 

272. The body of diocesan consultors takes the place of 
the cathedral Chapters as the council of the bishop. What 
ever part the Canons give the cathedral Chapter in the gov 
ernment of the diocese either during the reign of the bishop 
or during a vacancy is to be also the part of the body of con- 
suitors. (Canon 427.) 

273. During their term the consultors should not be re 
moved except for a just cause and with the advice of the other 
consultors, (Canon 428.) 


Obstruction in the Government, Vacancy of the Episcopal 
See, the Vicar Capitular. 

274. If the bishop is in captivity, or banished, exiled, 
or otherwise inhabilitated, so that he cannot even by letter 
communicate with the people of his diocese, the government 
of the diocese shall rest with the vicar general or another 
priest delegated by the bishop, unless the Holy See has made 
other provision. 

The bishop may in such circumstances for grave reasons 
delegate several persons who are to succeed each other. 

If all of them fail, or are impeded in any of the ways 
described above, the cathedral Chapter shall appoint a vicar 
who shall assume the government with the powers of vicar 

Those called upon to assume the government of the dio 
cese in such circumstances, shall as soon as possible inform 
the Holy See of the state of affairs and of their having taken 
over the government. 

If the bishop should have fallen into excommunication, 
interdict, or suspension, the archbishop, or in case of the 
archbishop being under censure, the oldest suffragan, shall 
at once have recourse to the Holy See that proper provision 
may be made. If there is question of bishops and prelates 
nullius who belong to no ecclesiastical province, but who 
have to choose an archbishop to whose jurisdiction they wish 
to belong for the purpose of Provincial Councils (cf. Canon 


285), the archbishop thus chosen shall report to the Holy 
See. (Canon 429.) 

275. The episcopal see becomes vacant by the death of 
the bishop, by renunciation accepted by the Roman Pontiff, 
by transfer, and by deprivation made known to the bishop. 

Nevertheless, all acts of the vicar general are valid until 
he has received certain notice of the bishop s death; and, in 
the case of removal or transfer by the Holy See, all acts of 
the bishop or of his vicar general hold until official notice 
from the Roman Pontiff has reached them. Only appoint 
ments to benefices and offices are excepted from this rule. 

In case of transfer of a bishop to another diocese, the 
bishop must within four months from the receipt of the no 
tice take possession of the new diocese, according to Canons 
333, 334; and the diocese he leaves becomes fully vacant from 
the day the bishop takes possession of the new diocese. In 
the meantime the following rules govern: (1) the vicar capi 
tular has the right and duty of government, the power of the 
vicar general ceasing as soon as the notice from Rome ar 
rives; (2) the vicar capitular has the privileges of honor of 
residential bishops; (3) he receives all the income of the 
mensa episcopalis according to Canon 194, 2. (Canon 430.) 

276. In case of vacancy the government of the diocese 
belongs to the cathedral Chapter, unless there is an Apostolic 
administrator or the Holy See has otherwise provided. 

If by special arrangement of the Holy See the arch 
bishop, or another bishop, has the right to appoint an ad 
ministrator for a vacant diocese, such administrator has all 
those, and only those, faculties and powers which the vicar 
capitular has and he is held to the same obligations and 
penalties. (Canon 431.) 

277. The cathedral Chapter must within eight days 
from the notice of the vacancy of the episcopal see elect the 
vicar capitular for the government of the diocese. If the 
Chapter neglects to do so within that time, the archbishop 
has the right to appoint the vicar capitular and in case of the 
metropolitan see, the oldest suffragan bishop. The same 
rule governs in the vacancy of independent dioceses or pre 
lacies nullius of which Canon 285 speaks. The cathedral 
Chapter shall as soon as possible notify the Holy See of 


the vacancy and of the election of the vicar capitular. 
(Canon 432.) 

278. Under pain of nullity the Chapter shall appoint 
only one vicar capitular by canonical election in which the 
absolute majority of votes suffices. (Canon 433.) 

279. The vicar capitular must under pain of invalidity 
of the election be a priest, at least thirty years of age, and 
must not have been elected, nominated or presented to the 
Holy See for the bishopric by those having the right to elect, 
present, etc. If the election of the vicar capitular is invalid, 
the archbishop, or as the case may be, the oldest suffragan, 
has the right to appoint in that instance the vicar capitular. 
(Canon 434.) 

280. The cathedral Chapter, and after his election the 
vicar capitular, have ordinary episcopal jurisdiction in all 
things spiritual and temporal, with the exception of those 
acts which are explicitly forbidden them in law. Wherefore 
they have all the rights enumerated in Canon 368, 2; they 
have power to allow any bishop to exercise the pontificals in 
the diocese and, if the vicar capitular is a bishop he can 
exercise them himself with the exception of the throne and 
the canopy. The vicar capitular and the Chapter are not 
allowed to do anything that might be prejudicial to the rights 
of the diocese or the future bishop, and they are specially 
forbidden to take away, destroy, conceal, or change, any of 
the documents of the episcopal curia. (Canon 435.) 

281. During the vacancy no changes shall be made. 
(Canon 436.) 

282. In the election of the vicar capitular the Chapter 
cannot retain for itself any part of jurisdiction, nor fix the 
time of duration of office of the vicar, nor attach any restric 
tions. (Canon 437.) 

283. The vicar capitular having made the profession of 
faith demanded in Canons 1406-1408, obtains jurisdiction 
immediately and does not need any confirmation of his elec 
tion. (Canon 438.) 

284. The rules of Canon 370 concerning the vicar 
general also apply to the vicar capitular. (Canon 439.) 

285. The vicar capitular is obliged to reside within the 


diocese, and to apply Holy Mass for the people according to 
the rules of Canons 338, 339. (Canon 440.) 

286. Unless other rules have lawfully been made, the 
vicar capitular and the economus have the right (1) to a 
proper salary to be specified in the Provincial Council, or 
by acknowledged custom, from the income of the mensa 
episcopalis or other sources; (2) the rest of the income of the 
diocese should be reserved to the future bishop for the needs 
of the diocese, if it would have come to the bishop had he 
been in office. (Canon 441.) 

287. The economus of the diocese shall have the ad 
ministration of the goods and revenue of the diocese, under 
the authority, however, of the vicar capitular. (Canon 442.) 

288. The removal of the vicar capitular and of the 
economus is reserved to the Holy See. Their renunciation is 
to be handed in authentic form to the Chapter, but it is not 
necessary for its validity that the Chapter accept it. The 
appointment of a new vicar or an economus after the resig 
nation, death, or removal by the Holy See belongs to the 
Chapter after the manner of Canon 432. Their authority, 
moreover, expires from the moment the new bishop takes 
possession. (Canon 443.) 

289. The new bishop has authority to demand an 
account from the vicar capitular, and from all officials of 
their actions during the vacancy, and to punish delinquents, 
even though the Chapter should have exonerated them. 
They must also give an account of documents belonging 
to the Church that came to them during the vacancy. 
(Canon 444,) 


290. A dean (vicarius foraneus) is a priest who presides 
over a deanery by appointment of the bishop. Cf. Canon 217. 
(Canon 445.) 

291. The bishop should appoint to the office of dean 
worthy priests, especially from among the pastors. The 
dean may be removed at will by the bishop. (Canon 446.) 

292. Besides the faculties which the diocesan statutes, 


or otherwise the bishop, may give them, they have the right 
and duty: (1) to watch over the clergy of their district in 
order that they live according to the laws of the Church, 
keep residence, attend to preaching and instruction of the 
children and the adults and fulfil their duty towards the sick 
and infirm; (2) to see to it that they fulfil the decrees and 
orders of the bishop issued at the time of visitation; (3) to 
see to it that the rules concerning the keeping of the Blessed 
Sacrament are observed; (4) that the Churches and what 
ever is used for Divine worship are kept in proper condi 
tion, that the laws of liturgy are observed in the Divine 
services, that the Church property is properly and faithfully 
administrated and the obligations annexed to Church endow 
ments, as for instance legacies of Masses, are attended to; 
that the Church records are properly kept. 

In order to obtain knowledge of these matters the dean 
should at stated times, to be fixed by the bishop, visit the 

It is the dean s duty to see to It as soon as he hears of 
the serious illness of any pastor of his district, that such 
a priest receives the necessary spiritual and temporal as 
sistance, and, in case of death, a becoming burial. He has, 
moreover, the duty to watch that during the illness and 
after the death of a pastor the books, documents, sacred 
utensils and other objects belonging to the parish are not 
lost, or taken away. (Canon 447.) 

293. The dean must on days appointed by the bishop 
summon the priests of his district for the conferences of which 
Canon 131 speaks, and preside at them. If they are held 
in several places of his district, he must watch that they 
are properly attended. If the dean is not a pastor, he must 
reside in the territory of the deanery or in a place nearby, 
according to the regulations to be made by the bishop. 
(Canon 448.) 

294. At least once a year the dean should submit report 
to the bishop, not only of the good that has been accom 
plished but also of evils that have crept in, scandals that 
have arisen, and what has been done to repair them, and 
what he has to suggest for wiping out the evils. (Canon 


295. The dean should have a seal proper to the dean 
ery. He precedes all the pastors and other priests of his 
district. (Canon 450.) 



296. The pastor is an individual priest, or a body of 
men, to whom a parish has been conferred to attend to the 
care of souls by and under the authority of the bishop. The 
following persons are in law held equal to pastors with all 
parochial rights and duties: (1) the quasi-pastors who are 
in charge of quasi-parishes, that is to say, in vicariates and 
prefectures apostolic where the territory has been divided 
into districts and an individual rector been appointed over 
the district. In countries like the United States and others 
withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the Propaganda, the 
rectors of parochial churches are called pastors in the strict 
sense of the term; (2) the parochial vicars, if they have 
full parochial power. 

Concerning the major and minor military chaplains, the 
special regulations of the Holy See are to be observed. 
(Canon 451.) 

297. Without Apostolic indult the bishop cannot unite 
a parish to a body of men, e. g. a monastery, college, in full 
right, namely in such a way that the body of men as a collec 
tive person becomes pastor of a parish. Cf . Canon 1432, 2. 

A body of men to whom a parish has been given by full 
right can retain only habitually the care of souls; the actual 
exercise of the pastoral rights and duties rests with the 
parochial vicar who is appointed according to the rules of 
Canon 471. (Canon 452.) 

298. In order that a cleric may validly be appointed 
pastor he must be a priest. (Canon 453.) 

299. Those who are appointed as rectors of a parish 
should remain in office permanently, which rule, however, 
does not forbid to change any pastor provided the rules of 
Canon Law are observed. 

Not all pastors have the same stability in office; those 
who enjoy greater stability are called irremovable, those who 


have a lesser degree of stability are usually called movable 

Irremovable parishes cannot be made movable without 
the beneplacitum of the Holy See. The movable parishes 
can be made irremovable by the bishop, not however by 
the vicar general, with the advice of the cathedral Chapter 
or the diocesan consultors. New parishes to be established 
should be made irremovable, unless the bishop, having 
sought the counsel of the Chapter or the consultors, should 
prudently judge that peculiar circumstances of place and 
persons make movable pastorships more advisable. 

All pastors of quasi-parishes are movable. 

Pastors belonging to religious communities are always, 
as far as the individual person is concerned, movable, and 
they can be removed as pastors both by the will of the 
bishop, notifying the superior, and also at the will of the 
respective religious superior, notifying the bishop. Both 
have equal rights and the one does not need the consent of 
the other, nor has one to give reason to the other, much 
less proof. Both have the right of recourse in devolutivo to 
the Holy See in a disagreement. (Canon 454.) 

300. The right to nominate and institute pastors be 
longs to the bishop, except for parishes reserved to the Holy 
See; all contrary customs injuring this right of the bishop 
are disapproved. Those, however, who have legitimately 
been given the right to elect or present the pastor do retain 
their right. 

When the diocese is vacant or impeded, as described in 
Canon 429, the vicar capitular, or another who rules the 
diocese has the right: (1) to institute parochial vicars ac 
cording to Canons 472-476; (2) to confirm the election or 
accept the presentation to a vacant parish and to grant the 
elected or presented priest the canonical institution as 
pastor; (3) to appoint pastors to parishes in general, if the 
see has been vacant for at least one year. 

The vicar general has no power to confer parishes 
without a special mandate from the bishop, except in cases 
where the bishop is in captivity, exile, inhabilitated to act, 
etc., as described in Canon 429, 1. (Canon 455.) 

301. For parishes entrusted to religious, the superior 


whose office it is, according to the constitutions of the 
Order, has the right to present a priest of his Order to the 
Ordinary for the pastor s office. The Ordinary gives him 
the canonical institution, observing Canon 459, 2, which 
leaves to the bishop the judgment of the requisite qualifica 
tions. (Canon 456.) 

302. Quasi-pastors are nominated from the secular 
clergy by the local Ordinary with the advice of his council. 
Quasi-parishes are those in vicariates and prefectures apos 
tolic, where, according to Canon 302, the vicar or prefect 
apostolic is to appoint at least three of the older missionaries 
as his advisory board, whom he should consult in all more 
important cases. (Canon 457.) 

303. The bishop should not delay the appointment 
of a pastor to a vacant parish for more than six months, 
unless peculiar circumstances of place and persons induce 
the Ordinary to delay the conferring of the pastorship. 
(Canon 458.) 

304. The Ordinary is bound in conscience to give the 
vacant parish to the priest whom he judges best qualified, 
without favoritism. 

In judging the candidates for the pastorship there must 
be considered not only learning but also all other qualities 
required for the proper administration of the parish. 

Wherefore the Ordinary should, (1) not neglect to 
gather information from any source as to the character of 
the priest; (2) refer to the examinations he passed when 
belonging to the junior clergy (Cf. Canon 130, 2); (3) 
subject the candidate to an examination as to his theological 
knowledge before himself and the synodal examiners, unless 
there is question of a priest well-known for his theological 
learning, in which case he may with the consent of the ex 
aminers dispense him from the examination; (4) in countries 
where the conferring of parishes is done by a concursus, 
either in the form of the constitution of Pope Benedict XIV., 
"Cum illud" Dec. 14, 1742, or by a general concursus that 
form shall be retained until the Holy See shall have other 
wise provided. (Canon 459.) 

305. A pastor should have, according to Canon 156, 


only one parish, unless there is question of two parishes 
which have been united aeque principaliter. 

In one and the same parish there can be but one pastor 
who has the actual care of souls; all contrary customs are 
disapproved and privileges recalled. (Canon 460.) 

306. The pastor assumes the care of souls from the 
moment of taking possession. The manner of taking pos 
session may, according to Canon 1444, be regulated by par 
ticular law or by custom. Before taking possession, or in 
the act of taking possession he must make the profession of 
faith prescribed by Canon 1406, 1, n. 7. (Canon 461.) 

307. The functions reserved to the pastor, unless the 
law states otherwise, are the following: 

1. To baptize solemnly. 

2. To carry the Blessed Sacrament publicly to the sick 
within his parish. 

3. To administer the Holy Viaticum, whether publicly 
or privately, and to give Extreme Unction. The bishops 
receive the last Sacraments from the canons of the Chapter 
according to their rank of dignity. Where there are no 
cathedral Chapters the consultors of the diocese take their 
place. In clerical religious communities the administration 
of the last rites to the religious, and to all that live in the 
religious house, belongs to the superior. In case of necessity 
any priest may administer the last rites, and sometimes also 
by presumed permission. 

4. To announce sacred orders and the marriage banns. 
To assist at marriages and to give the nuptial blessing. 

5. To perform the funeral services of his parishioners 
unless they themselves selected before their death another 
church for burial. 

6. To bless the houses on Holy Saturday or any other 
day, according to local customs, with the blessing of the 

7. To bless the baptismal font on Holy Saturday, to 
have j^iblic processions outside the church in his parish, to 
give blessings outside the church with great pomp and cere 
mony, unless there is question of the cathedral Chapter which 
may perform such public functions. (Canon 462.) 


308. The pastor has the right to the revenue to which 
legitimate custom or legal taxation, according to Canon 1507, 
1, entitle him. If he exacts more than he is entitled to he is 
held to restitution. 

If any of the parochial offices are attended to by another 
priest, the fees or offerings belong to the pastor, unless the 
contrary will of those making the offering is certain concern 
ing the sum that is over and above the ordinary tax. He 
must not refuse to gratuitously serve those who are not able 
to pay for the services. (Canon 463.) 

309. The pastor is bound by virtue of his office to exer 
cise the care of souls for all who are not legitimately exempt 
from his jurisdiction. 

The bishop may for just and grave reasons exempt from 
the authority of the pastor the religious houses and pious in 
stitutions within the limits of the parish, though they are not 
exempted by the common law. (Canon 464.) 

310. The pastor is obliged to live in the parochial 
house, near his church. The Ordinary may permit him for a 
just reason to live elsewhere, provided the house is not so far 
away from the church that the attendance to the duties of 
his office thereby suffers. 

He is allowed to have two months vacation in a year, 
either continuous or interrupted, unless the Ordinary re 
stricts or prolongs that period. 

The days spent in the retreat of the priests of the dio 
cese do not count as part of the vacation. 

Whether the pastor takes his vacation for two months 
in succession or with interruptions, the rule is that whenever 
he goes away for more than a week he must in addition to a 
good reason for going have the written permission of the 
bishop. While away from his parish the pastor must pro 
vide a substitute approved by the Ordinary. If the substi 
tute is a religious priest, he must have both the approval of 
the bishop and of the religious superior. 

If the pastor is obliged to leave his parish suddenly, on 
account of some very urgent reason, and must be away for 
over a week, he shall as soon as possible inform his bishop 
by letter of the facts and state what priest he left in charge 
of the parish. 


Also in cases when the pastor is away from the parish 
for less than a week he must provide for the wants of the 
people, especially when the peculiar circumstances of the 
parish demand constant attention. (Canon 465.) 

311. Pastors are strictly bound to apply Holy Mass for 
their congregation on all Sundays and Holidays of obliga 
tion, even on abolished Holidays. Quasi-pastors, that is to 
say, pastors in districts subject to the Propaganda, are ad 
vised out of charity to say Holy Mass for their congregation 
on Sundays and the greater feasts of the year. As the pas 
tors in the United States, whether irremovable or movable 
pastors, are pastors in the strict meaning of the term by vir 
tue of the Code, they will have to apply Holy Mass for their 
congregations. The feast days are the following: Christmas; 
New Year s; Epiphany; Easter Sunday, Monday and Tues 
day; Ascension; Pentecost Sunday, Monday and Tuesday; 
Trinity; Corpus Christi; Invention of the Holy Cross; Im 
maculate Conception; Purification; Annunciation; Assump 
tion and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin; Dedication of St. 
Michael; Nativity of St. John Baptist; SS. Peter and Paul; 
St. Andrew; St. James; St. John; St. Thomas; SS. Philip 
and James; St. Bartholomew; St. Matthew; SS. Simon and 
Jude; St. Mathias; St. Stephen; Holy Innocents; St. Lau 
rence; St. Silvester, Pope; St. Joseph and Ste. Anne; All 
Saints . It is the common teaching of moralists that even if 
on these days the pastor says two Holy Masses he cannot 
accept a stipend for either Mass. 

If the pastor should have several parishes which are 
united aeque principaliter, or should be administrator of an 
additional parish or parishes, he satisfies his obligation by 
saying one Holy Mass for the people. 

The Ordinary can for a just reason allow the pastor to 
apply Holy Mass for the people on another day than that 
specified in law. 

The pastor should say the Mass for the people in his 
parish church, unless circumstances demand otherwise. 

If the pastor is legitimately absent, he may either him 
self say the Mass for the people in the place where he stays, 
or have it said by the priest who takes his place in the parish. 
(Canon 466.) 

312. The pastor must celebrate the Divine offices, ad- 


minister the Sacraments to the faithful as often as they 
legitimately request it, get acquainted with the people, ad 
monish the erring, assist the poor and the sick, and give his 
special care to the instruction of the children in the Catholic 

The faithful should be admonished that they, if pos 
sible, frequently go to their parish church to assist at the 
Divine services and to hear the Word of God. (Canon 467.) 

313. The pastor shall take special care of the sick, es 
pecially when they are dying, give them the Sacraments fre 
quently, and commend their souls to God. 

The pastor, and any other priest assisting the sick, has 
the faculty to give the Apostolic blessing with a plenary in 
dulgence for the moment of death, to be applied according 
to the formula of the ritual. (Canon 468.) 

314. The pastor must watch that nothing shall be done 
against faith or morals in his parish, especially in the schools 
whether private or public, and he must advance the works 
of charity, faith and piety in the parish. (Canon 469.) 

315. The pastor must keep the parochial records of 
Baptism, Confirmation, marriage, and the deceased. He 
shall take care to have the census book as correct as possible, 
and he shall keep these books with great care and according 
to the approved custom or the regulations of the bishop. 

In the baptismal record should be inserted a notice 
about the Confirmation, and the marriage, or subdeaconship, 
or solemn profession. When issuing baptismal certificates 
these facts should always be mentioned in the certificate. 

At the end of each year the pastor should send an au 
thentic copy of the records to the episcopal Curia with the 
exception of the census book. 

The pastor should have a parochial seal and a safe place 
for the above-mentioned parochial books, where he should 
also keep the bishop s letters and other documents that may 
be useful or necessary to keep. (Canon 470.) 

Parochial Vicars. 

316. If a parish is united to a religious house, to a 
cathedral or collegiate Chapter, or any other body of men 


by full right, a vicar must be appointed for the actual care 
of souls who shall receive a suitable salary from the income 
of the parish according to the judgment of the bishop. 

The religious superior, or the Chapter, or other legal 
body to which the parish is attached, shall nominate the vicar 
and present him to the bishop who must appoint him if he 
finds him qualified, according to the rules of Canon 459. 
Only in case of legitimate privilege or custom, or endow 
ment of the vicariate by the bishop in which he reserved to 
himself the right of freely nominating the pastor, can the 
bishop himself nominate the parochial vicar. 

If the parochial vicar is a religious he is movable like 
the religious pastor, as stated in Canon 454, 5. All other 
narochial vicars are perpetual as far as the college or Chapter 
that presents him is concerned, but the bishop has the right to 
remove him in the same way as pastors, notifying the one 
who presented the vicar. 

To the vicar exclusively belongs the care of souls with 
all the rights and duties of law and the statutes of the diocese 
and laudable customs. (Canon 471.) 

317. During the vacancy of the parochial office the 
bishop shall as soon as possible appoint, with the consent of 
the religious superior if there is question of religious, a vicar 
economus who shall rule the parish during the vacancy and 
receive a proper portion of the revenue. 

Before the vicar economus is appointed the assistant of 
the former pastor shall assume the government of the parish; 
if there are several assistants, the first; if they are all equal, 
the senior in office of the assistants. If there are no as 
sistants, the nearest pastor takes charge ; in case of religious, 
the superior of the house. The bishop in the diocesan synod, 
or outside of the synod shall determine beforehand which 
parish is to be considered nearest. 

He who takes charge of the parish after the manner of 
the preceding paragraph, shall notify the bishop of the va 
cancy. (Canon 472.) 

318. The vicar economus has the same rights and duties 
as the pastor in all things concerning the care of souls. He 
must, however, do nothing that might be prejudicial to the 
rights of the pastor and the parochial benefice. 


The vicar economus shall in presence of the dean or an 
other priest appointed by the bishop hand to the newly ap 
pointed pastor the key of the parochial archives and all other 
things belonging to the parish, and give an account of the 
receipts and expenditures, for the time of his administration. 
(Canon 473.) 

319. The vicar who takes charge of the parish in the 
absence of the pastor, e. g., during vacation, has all the rights 
of a pastor as far as the care of souls is concerned. (Canon 

320. If the pastor, on account of old age, mental debil 
ity or other perpetual inability, is not able to administrate 
the parish, the bishop must give him an assistant as vicar of 
the parish. If it is a parish in charge of the religious the 
superior presents the vicar. 

The assistant who takes the place of the pastor in all the 
affairs of the parish has all the rights and duties of a pastor, 
with the exception of the application of the Mass for the 
congregation which rests with the pastor; if, however, he 
has only part of the pastoral duties to attend to, his rights 
and obligations must be learned from his letters of appoint 

If the pastor is of sound mind, the assistant must help 
him in the pastoral work under his authority and according 
to the bishop s instructions. 

If the parish cannot be properly taken care of by an as 
sistant acting as parochial vicar, the bishop has the right to 
remove the pastor according to Canons 2147-2161. (Canon 

321. If the pastor alone cannot take care of all the work 
in the parish, on account of the great number of the people 
or for other reasons, the bishop may give him one or several 
assistants, called in law vicarii cooperatorcs, who shall receive 
a proper salary. 

The assistants may be appointed either for the entire 
parish or for a certain specified part of it. 

The bishop, not the pastor, has the right to nominate 
the assistants of the secular clergy, after having given hear 
ing to the pastor. 

The assistants of a religious pastor are presented to the 


bishop by their competent religious superior, and it belongs 
to the bishop to approve them. 

The assistants are obliged to reside in the parish accord 
ing to the diocesan statutes, or the laudable customs, or the 
laws of the bishop. Where it is possible the bishop should 
arrange that they live in the rectory. 

The rights and duties of the assistants are derived from 
the diocesan statutes, the letters of appointment, and the 
commission of the pastor. Unless the contrary has been ex 
pressly stated, they must assist the pastor in the general min 
istry of the parish, with the exception of the application of 
Holy Mass for the people. 

The assistants are subject to the pastor who should pa 
ternally instruct and direct them in the care of souls, watch 
over them, and send each year a report to the bishop con 
cerning their conduct. 

If the parish is so large that even the appointment of 
assistants does not properly provide for the spiritual welfare 
of the people, the bishop has the right to divide the parish, 
according to Canon 1427. (Canon 476.) 

322. Parochial vicars and assistants, of which Canons 
472-476 treat, may be removed at will by the bishop or the 
vicar capitular, the vicar general can remove them only by 
special mandate of the bishop; Religious either by the bishop 
or the superior of the Order, according to Canon 454, 5. 

If a benefice is connected with the assistant s position, 
he can be removed by canonical trial, not only for reasons 
on account of which a pastor can be removed, but also for 
grievous disobedience to the pastor in the due exercise of his 
duties. (Canon 477.) 

323. The pastor of the cathedral church precedes all 
other pastors in rank, the parochial vicar of the cathedral 
Chapter precedes all other parochial vicars. (Canon 478.) 

Rectors of Churches. 

324. By the name of "Rectors of churches" are meant 
here those priests who have charge of a church that is neither 
parochial nor capitular, nor annexed to a religious commun 
ity, which holds services in that church. 


Concerning the chaplains of religious women, of laical 
communities of men, of confraternities, and other legitimate 
associations, the laws of particular Canons shall be observed. 
(Canon 479.) 

325. The rectors of churches are freely appointed by 
the Ordinary, except in places where certain individuals have 
the right to elect or present the candidate; the approval in 
that case belongs to the bishop. 

Even if the church belongs to an exempt Order the rec 
tor nominated by the superior must be referred to the bishop 
for approval. 

If the church is connected with a seminary or college 
conducted by the clergy, the superior of the seminary or 
college is at the same time rector of the church, unless the 
local Ordinary directs otherwise. (Canon 480.) 

326. In the church committed to him the rector cannot 
hold parochial functions. (Canon 481.) 

327. The rector of a church can celebrate the Divine 
services also solemnly, observing, however, the laws of foun 
dation, i. e., such regulations as were made or approved of by 
the bishop when the church was built by individual benefac 
tors, and provided that the holding of solemn services in the 
church does not injure the parish church. The bishop is the 
judge in these matters. (Canon 482.) 

328. If the non-parochial church is so far away from 
the parish church that the parishioners who live near that 
chapel could not be expected to go to the parish church for 
Divine service, the bishop may command the rector, even 
under grave penalties, to have Divine services at hours con 
venient for the people, to announce the feasts and fast days, 
give catechetical instruction, and explanation of the holy 
Gospel. The pastor has the right to take Holy Communion 
to the sick from such church, if the bishop has allowed that 
the Blessed Sacrament be kept there. (Canon 483.) 

329. Without the permission of the rector, or other 
legitimate superior, no priest is allowed to say Holy Mass, 
or administer the Sacraments, or hold any functions, in that 
church. (Canon 484.) 

330. The rector must take proper care of the church. 
(Canon 485.) 


331. Rectors of any kind are removable at will by the 
bishop. (Canon 486.) 



332. The Religious State, by which is meant a perma 
nent community life, in which the faithful besides observing 
the common precepts, oblige themselves to the observance 
of the evangelical counsels by the vows of obedience, chas 
tity and poverty, should be held in honor by all. (Canon 

333. The meaning of the various terms used in the law 
for the religious is defined as follows: (Canon 488) 

1. Religio means a society, approved by legitimate, ec 
clesiastical authority, whose members strive after evan 
gelical perfection by living according to the special laws 
governing the society and by taking public vows, either per 
petual or temporary, to be renewed, if temporary, when the 
time of the vows expires. 

2. Ordo denotes a religious organization in which 
solemn vows are taken; Congregatio monastica is a combina 
tion of several independent monasteries of monks under one 
superior; Religio exempta means a religious organization, of 
either solemn or simple vows, that has been withdrawn from 
the jurisdiction of the Ordinary of the diocese; Congregatio 
religiosa, or simply Congregatio, signifies a religious body in 
which only simple vows are taken, which vows may be either 
perpetual or temporary. 

3. Religio juris pontificii is a religious organization 
which has received from the Holy See either approval or at 
least the decretum laudis; Religio juris diocesani is a religious 
organization which has been instituted by the Ordinary and 
has not yet obtained the decretum laudis from the Holy See. 

4. Religio clericalis means a religious organization 
whose members are mostly priests; otherwise it is called 
religio laicalis. 

5. Domus religiosa signifies the residence of any reli 
gious organization; Domus regidaris is the house of an Or 
der; domus formata means a religious house in which reside 


at least six professed members, of whojn, if there is question 
of a clerical religious organization, four at least must be 

6. Provincia is a combination of several houses of reli 
gious under one superior, constituting a part of the Religious 
Order or congregation. 

7. Religiosi are those who have taken vows in any 
religious community; Religiosi votomm simpliciiim are those 
who have taken vows in a religious Congregation; Regulares 
are the professed members of an Order; Sorores are religious 
women who have taken simple vows; Moniales are religious 
women with solemn voivs, unless either by the very nature or 
the context of the Canons their meaning is to be taken other 
wise. There are also nuns whose vows are by their rule 
solemn, but who have for certain countries been declared 
simple by order of the Holy See. 

8. Superior es ma j ores are the Abbas primas, abbots who 
are superiors of monastic congregations, abbots of indepen 
dent monasteries though belonging to some monastic con 
gregation, the Generals or highest heads of any religious or 
ganization, the provincial superiors and their vicars, and all 
others who have the same jurisdiction as Provincials. 

334. The Rules and particular constitutions of indi 
vidual religious organizations which are not contrary to the 
Canons of the Code remain in force. Those rules and sta 
tutes that are opposed to the Canons are hereby abolished. 
(Canon 489.) 

335. The laws of the Canons for the religious when 
speaking in the masculine gender, religiosus, religiosi, apply 
in the same manner to religious women, except the context 
or the nature of the law prove the contrary. (Canon 490.) 

336. The order of precedence is as follows: the re 
ligious precede lay people, clerical organizations precede 
laical, canons regular precede monks, monks precede other 
regulars, regulars precede religious congregations, congre 
gations of papal law precede diocesan congregations. 
Among religious bodies of the same kind in the same town 
or city precedence is regulated according to the priority of 
residence in the place. 

The secular clergy precedes both laical and clerical 


religious bodies outside the churches of these bodies, and 
even in their churches if they are laical organizations. The 
cathedral or collegiate Chapter precedes the religious every 
where. (Canon 491.) 


Erection and Suppression of a Religious Organization, of a 
Province, or a House. 

337. Bishops, and not the vicar capitular or the vicar 
general, can establish religious congregations. They shall 
not establish them, nor allow their foundation, without first 
consulting the Holy See. If there is question of Tertiaries 
living in community, it is required, moreover, that the su 
preme head of the first Order aggregate them to his Order. 

A diocesan religious congregation remains diocesan 
even though it has in the course of time spread to several 
dioceses, and it stays under the absolute jurisdiction of the 
bishops until it has obtained from the Holy See approval or, 
at least, the decretum laudis. 

The name and religious habit of an established Order or 
congregation cannot be assumed by those not lawfully be 
longing to that body nor by a new organization. (Canon 

338. Any religious body, even a diocesan congrega 
tion, which has been legally established cannot be dissolved, 
even though it should consist only of one house, except by 
authority, of the Holy See, to which is also reserved the dis 
position of the goods of the congregation, saving the legiti 
mate will and intention of the donors. (Canon 493.) 

339. To the Holy See it belongs to divide congrega 
tions of papal law into provinces, to join provinces that have 
been established, or to change their circumscription, to es 
tablish new ones and suppress others, to separate indepen 
dent monasteries from some one monastic congregation and 
unite them to another. 

Concerning the goods of a province that has been 
abolished, the General Chapter, or, outside the Chapter, the 
Superior General with his council, has the right to dispose, 
unless the constitutions provide otherwise; the laws of jus- 


tice and the will of founders must be safeguarded. (Canon 

340. A diocesan congregation cannot establish a house 
in another diocese except with the consent of both the 
bishop of the diocese where its principal house is situated, 
and the bishop of the diocese to which it wishes to go. The 
bishop of the principal house should not deny permission 
without serious reasons. 

If a diocesan congregation has already spread to other 
dioceses, changes in the laws of that congregation cannot be 
made except with the consent of each and every bishop of 
the dioceses in which it has a house. What the Holy See 
ordained at the time the bishop consulted the same about 
the founding of a congregation, as prescribed in Canon 492, 
1, cannot be changed by bishops. (Canon 495.) 

341. No religious house shall be established unless it 
can be prudently judged that the community will be able to 
properly support itself, either by fixed income, or the usual 
alms, or by other means. (Canon 496.) 

342. For the erection of a house of an exempt Order 
or congregation, whether it be a domus formata or non for- 
mata (cf. Canon 488, 5), for a monastery of nuns with 
solemn vows, and for any religious house in countries sub 
ject to the Propaganda, the beneplacitum of the Holy See is 
required, together with the written consent of the local Or 
dinary. For all other cases the consent of the Ordinary 

The permission to establish a house given to a clerical 
religious organization carries with it the right to have a 
church or public oratory, and to perform therein the sacred 
functions according to the rules of the law; and for all 
religious to exercise the pious works proper to each, observ 
ing the conditions under which the permission was granted. 
When religious intend to build a church the bishop s ap 
proval of the location must be sought, according to Canon 
1162, 4. 

For the building and opening of schools, hospices, or 
other houses separate from the religious house, exempt or 
non-exempt, the written permission of the bishop is required, and 
not that of the Holy See. 


In order to convert a religious house to other purposes, 
the same formalities are required as for a new foundation; 
it is not considered a change to other purposes, if there is 
question of changing it for purposes belonging to the in 
ternal regime and discipline, e. g., to use a house, or build a 
new house, of studies for the religious themselves. If, how 
ever, contrary agreements between the bishop and the pro 
vincial were made at the time of entering into the place, 
these must be adhered to. (Canon 497.) 

343. A religious house, whether a domus formata or 
non formata, belonging to an exempt Order can be sup 
pressed only by permission of the Holy See; if it belongs to 
a non-exempt congregation of papal law it can be suppressed 
by the General with the consent of the local Ordinary; if it 
is a house of a diocesan congregation, it can be suppressed 
by the sole authority of the bishop after having given hear 
ing to the head of the congregation, and then the congrega 
tion has the right of appeal to the Holy See in suspensive, 
that is to say, the community or house cannot be disturbed 
before Rome has decided. If the congregation has but one 
house, Canon 493 provides, (Canon 498.) 

The Government of Religious Organizations. 

Superiors and Chapters. 

344. All religious are subject to the Roman Pontiff as 
their highest superior, whom they are bound to obey also 
in virtue of the vow of obedience. 

The Cardinal Protector of the individual Orders has no 
jurisdiction over the Order or over the individual members, 
unless the contrary has been ordained for particular circum 
stances, nor can he interfere in the internal discipline and 
the administration of property, it being his office only to 
promote the good of the Order by his advice and patronage. 
(Canon 499.) 

345. The religious are subject also to the local Ordi 
nary, with the exception of those who have obtained from 


the Holy See the privilege of exemption ; but evert these are 
in some things subject to him, as the Canons specify in 
various places. 

Nuns with solemn vows, who by their constitutions are 
under the jurisdiction of the regular superiors, are subject to 
the local Ordinary in those cases only which are specified 
in law. 

No Order of men can without a special papal indult have 
under its jurisdiction religious congregations of women, or 
claim a special right to care for and direct the members of 
such congregations. (Canon 500.) 

346. The superiors and the Chapter have governing 
power over their subjects, according to the constitutions and 
the common law; in clerial, exempt, Religious Orders they 
have ecclesiastical jurisdiction for the internal as well as for 
the external forum. 

All superiors are strictly forbidden to interfere in cases 
belonging to the Holy Office. 

The Abbot Primas and the superior of a monastic con 
gregation have not all the power and jurisdiction which the 
common law gives to major superiors; their power and juris 
diction must be gathered from the proper constitutions and 
the special laws of the Holy See. Canons 655 and 1594, 4, 
are to be observed. Canon 655 refers to the dismissal of a 
solemn professed religious or one with perpetual simple 
vows, which case is to be judged by the Abbot Superior of a 
monastic congregation, and Canon 1594, 4, states that the 
Abbot Superior of a monastic congregation is the judge 
of the second instance for cases tried by the Abbot. (Canon 

347. The highest superior of a religious organization 
obtains power over all provinces, houses, and the individual 
religious, to be exercised according to the constitutions; 
other superiors have that power within the limits of their 
office. (Canon 502.) 

348. The major superiors in clerical exempt Orders can 
constitute notaries for the ecclesiastical affairs of their Order 
only. (Canon 503.) 

349. Unless the proper constitutions of individual re 
ligious bodies demand a more advanced age, and other more 


difficult conditions, those are inhabilitated for the office of a 
major superior who are not at least ten years professed, the 
years to be counted from the first profession; not born of 
legitimate wedlock; and for the office of the highest superior 
of a religious body, or for abbess in monasteries of nuns with 
solemn vows, those under forty years of age ; thirty years of 
age are the minimum required for other major superiors. 
(Canon 504.) 

350. The major superiors are to be temporary, unless 
the constitutions demand otherwise; minor local superiors, 
however, must not be appointed to office for more than three 
years. After that term they may be appointed for a second 
term, not, however, for a third term in the same religious 
house. (Canon 505.) It may be noted that the Canon does 
not restrict the regulations for the terms of office to large 
houses only, but speaks of all, without distinction. 

351. Before the election of major superiors in Orders 
of men takes place, each and every one of the Chapter must 
take an oath to vote for those only for whom before God he 
believes he should vote. 

In monasteries of nuns with solemn vows, if they are 
subject to the bishop, he or his delegate, with two priests 
who act as tellers, presides at the election of the abbess, with 
out entering the enclosure. If the nuns are subject to the 
superiors of a Religious Order, the regular superior presides, 
in which case the bishop must be notified in due time of the 
coming election and he may, together with the religious su 
perior, be present or send a delegate. If the bishop comes 
in person, he presides. 

The ordinary confessors of that monastery should not 
be appointed to act as tellers. 

In religious congregations of women the local Ordinary 
presides in the election of the Superior General; if there is 
question of diocesan congregations, he may at will confirm 
or annul the election, as he in conscience sees fit. (Canon 

352. In elections held by the Chapter, the common law, 
contained in Canons 160-182, is to be observed, together with 
the constitutions of the Order or congregation, in as far as 
they are not contrary to the Canons. 


All religious should guard against procuring votes, di 
rectly or indirectly, for themselves or for others. 

The election by postulatio can be admitted only in extra 
ordinary cases, and only when not forbidden by the consti 
tutions. (Canon 507.) 

353. The superiors shall reside in their respective 
houses and not leave them, except according to the rules of 
the constitutions. (Canon 508.) 

354. Every superior must promote among his subjects 
the knowledge and execution of the decrees of the Holy See 
for the religious. 

The local superiors shall take care (1) that once a year, 
on the prescribed days, the constitutions of the Order or con 
gregation are read publicly, as also the decrees which the 
Holy See ordered to be read before the whole community; 
(2) that at least twice a month an instruction on Christian 
doctrine is given to the lay brothers and servants, accommo 
dated to the needs of their condition of life, and that, es 
pecially in laical organizations, pious exhortations are ad 
dressed to all the members. (Canon 509.) 

355. Every five years, or more frequently if the consti 
tutions so demand, a report must be sent to the Holy See by 
the Abbot Primas, by the superior of a monastic congrega 
tion, and by the supreme head of any religious organization 
of papal law, concerning the state of the organization, signed 
by the General and his council, and, in case of a congregation 
of religious women, also by the bishop of the place where the 
Superior General and her council reside. (Canon 510.) 

356. The major superiors on whom the constitutions 
put the obligation of visiting at stated times all the houses 
subject to them, must attend to this duty personally if they 
can, or otherwise through delegates. (Canon 511.) 

357. The local Ordinary must, either himself or through 
another, visit every five years : 

1. Each monastery of nuns with solemn vows which is 
subject to him or immediately subject to the Holy See. 

2. Each house of the diocesan congregations of both 
men and women. 

He must within the same time also visit: 

1. The monasteries of nuns with solemn vows subject 


to fhe regulars, to inquire about the observance of the law 
of enclosure; and also concerning the rest of the religious 
life if the regular superior did not hold any visitation within 
the last five years. 

2. Each house of clerical congregations of papal law, 
even those enjoying exemption, the visitation to extend only 
to the church, sacristy, public oratory, and places where con 
fessions are heard. 

3. Each house of laical congregations of papal law, the 
visitation to embrace not only those points mentioned in the 
preceding number, but also all other affairs concerning in 
ternal discipline. Canon 618 provides, however, that these 
congregations are not subject to visitation in regard to the 
economical affairs of the community. 

The administration of goods and property shall be con 
ducted according to Canons 532-535. (Canon 512.) 

358. The visitor has the right and duty to ask any of 
the religious, whom he thinks according to his own judgment 
that he should ask, to obtain knowledge of those things that 
are within the scope of the visitation. All religious have the 
duty to answer truthfully, and superiors are not allowed to 
dissuade them from this obligation, or in any other way to 
frustrate the purpose of the visitation. 

From the decrees of the visitor there is allowed an ap 
peal in devolutivo only, which means that the orders have to 
be obeyed in the meantime ; if the visitor proceeds by way of 
a canonical trial, there is open an appeal in suspensive, which 
suspends the orders of the judge. (Canon 513.) 

359. In all clerical religious communities the superior 
has the right and the duty, either in person or by another, to 
administer the Viaticum and Extreme Unction to the pro 
fessed, the novices, and to others who live day and night in 
the religious house, either as servants or for the purpose of 
education, or as guests or convalescents. 

In the house of nuns with solemn vows the ordinary con 
fessor, or the one who takes his place, has the same right. 

In other lay congregations and Orders this right and 
duty belongs to the pastor, or to the chaplain to whom the 
Ordinary has given full parochial powers, according to 
Canon 464, 2. 

Concerning funerals of religious: From the various 


Canons dealing with this question the general rule can be 
deducted that he who has the right to minister the last Sacra 
ments, also has the right to bury those to whom he minis 
tered the last rites (cf. Canons 1221 and 1230, 5). (Canon 

360. Merely honorary titles of dignities and offices are 
forbidden; but if the constitutions allow it, titles of major 
offices which a religious has actually held in his own Order 
are tolerated. (Canon 515.) 

361. The supreme superior of a religious organization 
or of a monastic congregation, and the superior of a domus 
formata, must have their council, the consent or advice of 
which they need in various affairs, according to the regula 
tions of the constitutions and the common law. 

There should also be econotni or procurators for the ad 
ministration of the temporal goods : an economus gcncralis 
who has charge of the administration of goods for the entire 
Order or Congregation, a provincial economus for the pro 
vince, a local economus for each individual house; all these 
shall exercise their office under the direction of the respec 
tive superior. 

The General and the Provincial are not allowed to have 
the office of economus; the office of the economus can be com 
bined with that of local superior, if necessity demands, but it 
is preferable to have a separate official for the administration. 

If the constitutions are silent about the manner of elect 
ing the economus, the major superior and his council may 
elect him. (Canon 499.) 

362. Every religious organization of men approved by 
the Holy See shall have a procurator-general who is to be 
designated according to the constitution. His office is to 
transact affairs of his Order with the Holy See. 

He shall not be removed before, according to the consti 
tutions, the term of his office expires, without consulting the 
Holy See. (Canon 517.) 


Confessors and Chaplains. 

363. In every clerical Order or congregation there shall 
be appointed for each house several, lawfully approved, con- 


fessors, in proportion to the number of religious, with the 
faculty, ii there is question of exempt religious, to absolve 
the religious also from the reserved cases of the Order. 

Religious superiors who have the power to hear con 
fessions may, provided they observe the laws, hear the con 
fessions of those of their subjects who of their own free will 
ask to be heard, but without a grave reason this should not 
be done habitually. 

The superiors must beware of inducing, either by 
themselves or through others, any of their subjects by force 
or fear, or by importune urging, or in any other way, to come 
to them for confession. (Canon 516.) 

364. The regulations of constitutions to the effect that 
the religious are to make their confession at stated times, to 
certain specified confessors, remain in force. However, if a 
religious, even of an exempt Order, for the peace of his con 
science makes his confession to a priest approved by the 
bishop of the diocese where the confession is made, even 
though such priest be not appointed by the superior of the 
Order for the confessions of religious, the confession is valid 
and licit. All contrary privileges of Orders, by which their 
subjects could not validly confess to a priest not approved for 
their confessions by the Order, are hereby revoked. The 
priest thus chosen by a religious for his confession can ab 
solve the penitent also from sins and censures reserved in 
the Order. (Canon 519.) 

365. In each house of religions women there should be 
appointed only one confessor for the whole community, un 
less on account of the large number of religious, or for any 
other just cause, two or more are deemed necessary. 

If any sister, for peace of soul or greater progress in 
spiritual life, ask for a special confessor or director, the Or 
dinary should readily grant the request, but he should watch 
that no misuse is made of this concession. If abuses creep 
in, the bishop shall eliminate them, saving the liberty of con 
science. (Canon 520.) 

366. Each community of women shall have an extra 
ordinary confessor who shall go to the convent four times a 
year, on which occasions all the sisters shall go to him, at 
least to receive his blessing. 


The local Ordinaries shall appoint several priests in the 
vicinity of each convent who may be called to hear the con 
fessions of sisters in particular cases, without being required 
to get the faculties each time. 

If a sister asks for any of these priests, no superioress 
is allowed, either by herself or through another, either di 
rectly or indirectly, to inquire for the reason, nor to refuse 
the request in words or actions, or to show dislike in any way. 
(Canon 521.) 

367. If, notwithstanding the concessions of the two 
foregoing Canons, a sister goes for her peace of conscience 
to any confessor approved by the local Ordinary, in any 
church, public or semi-public oratory, the confession is licit 
and valid. Any privilege to the contrary of Orders and con 
gregations is revoked. The superioress cannot forbid the 
sisters to go to confession outside the convent nor is she al 
lowed to inquire about it, nor are the sisters obliged to tell 
her. (Canon 522.) 

368. Whenever a sister is seriously ill, even though 
there be no danger of death, the sick sister may call any ap 
proved priest of the diocese to confess to him, even if he is 
not one of the particular confessors appointed by the bishop, 
according to Canon 521, 2. During illness sisters may con 
fess to such a priest as often as they desire and the superi 
oress cannot, either directly or indirectly, forbid it. (Canon 
523.) It may be noted here that in the various Canons speak 
ing of a confessor to whom sisters may confess outside the 
convent, the Code says that they should be "approbati pro 
mulierum confessionibus" which we have translated as "ap 
proved for confessions/ because it is not the custom in the 
United States to approve a priest for confessions of men 
only, whereas in some other countries such a limited ap 
proval is at times given. Canon 876 declares, however, that 
special approval is necessary to validly hear the confessions 
of sisters in their own convents. From this rule Canon 523 
allows an exception for cases of sickness. 

369. The bishop should appoint for each community of 
women an ordinary and an extraordinary confessor from the 
secular clergy, or also from the religious with the permission 
of their superior. The confessor should be a priest who has 


no jurisdiction in the external forum over the sisters, and he 
should be forty years of age or over unless the bishop for 
good reasons dispenses with the requirement of age. 

The ordinary confessor cannot be made the extraordi 
nary confessor, nor can he be again appointed as ordinary 
except after at least one year from the expiration of his term, 
with the exception mentioned in Canon 526; the extraordi 
nary confessor can immediately when his term as extraordi 
nary expires be made the ordinary confessor. 

The ordinary and extraordinary confessors of religious 
women should not in any way interfere in the internal or ex 
ternal government of the community. (Canon 524.) 

370. If a house of religious women is under the imme 
diate jurisdiction of the local Ordinary, the latter chooses 
both the ordinary and extraordinary confessors. If the house 
be subject to a regular superior, he presents the confessors to 
the Ordinary who alone can approve them, and in case this 
superior neglects to present confessors, the bishop chooses 
them himself. (Canon 525.) 

371. The ordinary confessor should not exercise his 
office for more than three years. The bishop may, however, 
reappoint him for a second and third term if on account of 
scarcity of priests for this work he cannot easily appoint new 
ones, or when the majority of the sisters, by secret vote in 
which every sister has a right to cast a ballot, express the 
wish to retain the confessor. Those sisters who dissent must 
be allowed to go to another confessor. (Canon 526.) 

372. The local Ordinary may, for a grave reason, remove 
both the ordinary and extraordinary confessor, even if the 
convent is subject to a regular superior and the confessor 
be a regular, nor is the bishop bound to give any rea 
son for the removal except to the Holy See when requested. 
He must, however, notify the regular superior, if the sisters 
are subject to him. (Canon 527.) 

373. In houses of laical religious Orders or congrega 
tions of men, extraordinary and ordinary confessors should 
likewise be appointed according to the rules of Canons 874, 
1, and 875, 2. If a religious asks for a special confessor, 
the superior shall not inquire for the reason, nor show dis 
like for the request. (Canon 528.) 


374. If there is question of laical non-exempt religious, 
the local Ordinary has the right to designate the priest for 
the sacred ministry and for the preaching to the community; 
if they are exempt, the regular superior designates this priest. 
In default of the superior to designate a priest, the Ordinary 
supplies. (Canon 529.) 

375. Religious superiors are strictly forbidden to induce 
their subjects in any way to manifest their state of conscience 
to them. 

The subjects, however, are not forbidden to manifest of 
their own free will and choice their conscience to the su 
periors. On the contrary, it is proper that they should ap 
proach their superiors with filial confidence, and if they are 
priests, to reveal to them any doubts and anxieties of their 
conscience. (Canon 530.) 

Temporal Goods and Their Administration. 

376. Not only the Order or congregation, but also the 
province and the individual house, are capable of acquiring 
and possessing temporal goods, together with fixed revenues 
and endowments, unless such capacity is excluded or re 
stricted by their Rule or Constitutions. (Canon 531.) 

377. The goods of the Order, of the province and indi 
vidual houses, are to be administrated according to the con 

Expenditures and legal acts of ordinary administration 
can be validly made by the superior, and also within the 
limits of their office by the officials designated for this pur 
pose by the constitutions. (Canon 532.) 

378. For the investment of money the previous consent 
of the bishop, besides compliance with the regulations of the 
constitutions, is required in the following cases : 

1. The superioress of nuns of solemn vows and of dio 
cesan congregations needs this consent for any investment of 
money; if the monastery of solemn professed nuns is subject 
"to a regular superior, also his consent is required. 

2. The superioress in a congregation of papal law, if 


the money to be invested constitutes the dowry of professed 
sisters, according to Canon 549. 

3. The superior, or superioress, of any religious con 
gregation, if real estate has been donated or given by last 
will to the religious house for the purpose of Divine worship, 
or for works of charity to be carried on in that place. 

4. Any religious, even of an exempt Order, if the 
money was given to the parish or mission, or to the religious 
on account of the parish or mission. 

5. When the investment is changed the bishop s con 
sent is likewise required. (Canon 533.) 

379. When there is question of disposing of objects of 
great value, or of a sum of money exceeding six thousand 
dollars, or of contracting debts and obligations above the said 
sum, the contract is invalid unless the beneplacitum of the 
Holy See was first obtained. In smaller amounts the per 
mission of the superior, with the consent given by his coun 
cil in secret vote, is sufficient. The constitutions determin 
ing the extent of power of the General, the Provincial and 
local superiors, in sums below six thousand dollars are to be 
observed. Moreover, in the case of religious women with 
solemn vows, and of diocesan sisters, the written consent of 
the bishop is demanded; and in addition the consent of the 
regular superior is required by a house of nuns of solemn 
vows under his jurisdiction. 

In the petition for consent to contract debts, or any 
other obligations, there must be stated the amount still ow 
ing of debts and obligations previously contracted by the 
house, province or Order for which respectively permission 
is asked, otherwise the obtained permission is null and void. 
(Canon 534.) 

380. In every monastery of nuns with solemn vows, 
even exempt ones, (1) the superioress shall once a year, or 
more frequently if the constitutions so demand, give an ac 
count to the bishop of her administration, and also to the 
regular superior, if the house is subject to him; (2) if the 
Ordinary does not approve of the administration, he may 
employ proper means to remedy the defect, removing even, 
if necessary, the economus and other administrators. If the 
house is subject to the regular superior, the bishop shall ad- 


monish the superior to remedy the deficiency, and if he does 
not attend to it, the bishop has the right to take the matter 
in hand. 

In all other houses of religious women an account must 
be given to the Ordinary of the administration of goods that 
constitute the dowry of the sisters. This must be done at 
the visitation of the Ordinary, and even more frequently if 
the bishop thinks this necessary. 

The Ordinary shall always have the right (1) to inquire 
into the financial standing of the religious houses of diocesan 
sisterhoods; (2) to demand an account of the administration 
of real estate and legacies given to parishes or for works of 
religion and charity in a place. (Canon 535.) 

381. If a legal body (the Order as such, the province, 
or the individual house) has contracted debts and assumed 
obligations, even with the permission of the superior, the re 
spective body is held to its obligations. 

If a regular has contracted any liability with the per 
mission of his superiors, the community whose superior gave 
the permission is held; if a religious with simple vows has 
contracted any debts he is himself liable, except in case he 
acted for the community with the permission of the superior. 

If a religious made a contract without any permission of 
the superiors, he is personally responsible and the Order, 
province or house cannot be held for it. 

In all cases the one who suffered by the contract shall 
have the right to sue for damages. 

The superiors shall take care not to permit the contract 
ing of debts unless it is certain that from the ordinary rev 
enue the interest on the loan can be paid, and that in not too 
long a time the mortgage can be paid off. (Canon 536.) 

382. Donations from the goods of a house, province or 
Order shall not be permitted, except by way of alms or other 
just caus, with the permission of the superior and in ac 
cordance with the constitutions. (Canon 537.) 


Admission Into a Religious Community. 

383. Admission to the religious life is open to any Ca 
tholic who is not under any legal impediment, who has the 


right intention, and is capable to fulfil the duties of the re 
ligious life. (Canon 538.) 



384. In all organizations with perpetual vows the wo 
men, and in Orders of men the lay-brothers, must stay fully 
six months as postulants before they can be admitted to the 
novitiate. In religious communities with temporary vows, 
their constitutions are to be observed in regard to time and 
necessity of the postulate. 

The major superior may prolong the time of the postu 
late for, at most, another six months. (Canon 539.) 

385. The postulate may be spent either in the house of 
novitiate or in another house in which the religious life is 
accurately observed according to the constitutions and under 
the special direction of a religious of tried virtue. 

The postulant shall wear plain clothing which must be 
different from that of the novices. 

In monasteries of nuns with solemn vows the postulants 
are held to the law of enclosure. (Canon 540.) 

386. The postulants shall, before they begin the novi 
tiate, make a retreat for at least eight complete days and, 
according to the judgment of the confessor, a general confes 
sion of their whole life. (Canon 541.) 


Article I. Conditions for Admission. 

387. Besides the regulations of the foregoing Canons 
about the postulate, and other conditions imposed by the con 
stitution of each religious organization, the following shall 
be observed: 

I. Admission into the novitiate is invalid: 

1. If one has adhered to a non-Catholic sect. 

2. If one has not the required age. 

3. If one was compelled to enter by grave fear, or by 


deceit, or by force, or if a superior thus constrained received 
the individual. 

4. If one is married, for the duration of the marriage. 

5. If one actually is, or has been, a professed member 
of any religious body. 

6. If one is subject to penalty for grave crime of which 
he has been, or may be, accused. 

7. If one is either a residential or titular bishop, though 
he has been as yet only designated as such by the Pope. 

8. If one is a cleric who, by the law of the Holy See, is 
held by oath to serve the diocese or mission, for such times 
as the oath lasts. In countries subject to the Propaganda 
the clerics are usually ordained under the explicit promise to 
serve the diocese or mission; in some missionary colleges the 
clerics take the oath to serve the missions for a definite num 
ber of years, etc. 

II. Illicitly are received: 

1. Clerics in major orders who enter without the 
knowledge of their bishop, or against the will of the bishop, 
who has the right to keep them from entering if it would 
entail great harm to souls and the bishop cannot in any way 
prevent such hardship. The Church wants religious life to 
be of access to all, and she has declared repeatedly that even 
a cleric educated at the expense of the diocese has the right 
to embrace religious life, unless he has taken the oath re 
ferred to above in seminaries where the Holy See has author 
ized the taking of such an oath. When in great need of 
priests, the bishop may detain a cleric for a while but as soon 
as he is not needed, he must be permitted to take up the re 
ligious life. 

2. Those who have debts to pay and cannot settle the 

3. Those who are held responsible for positions of trust 
or who are implicated in any other secular business, by rea 
son of which law suits and other annoyances may come to 
the religious. 

4. Children whose father, or mother, grandfather or 
grandmother, are in great want and in need of the help of 


this child, or whose parents need their help for the bringing 
up and education of younger children. 

5. Those who suffer from irregularity or any other im 
pediment to the priesthood, are forbidden to be admitted as 
future candidates of the priesthood. 

6. Catholics of an Oriental Rite admitted to a religious 
community of the Latin Rite without the permission of the 
S. Congregation for the Oriental Church. (Canon 542.) 

388. The right of admitting candidates to the novitiate 
and to subsequent profession, either temporary or perpetual, 
belongs to the major superiors with the vote of the council 
or the community, according to the regulations of the partic 
ular constitutions of each Order or congregation. (Canon 

389. 1. In every religious community the aspirants 
without exception must, before they are admitted, submit 
certificates of Baptism and Confirmation. 

2. In Orders and congregations of men the applicants 
must, moreover, get testimonial letters from the bishop of 
their birthplace as also from all other bishops in whose dio 
ceses they have lived for more than one, morally speaking, 
continuous year after their completed fourteenth year of age. 
Any privilege exempting from this obligation is hereby re 

3. If there is question of admitting those who have 
been in any seminary or college, or in the postulate or novi 
tiate of another Order or congregation, the testimonials of 
the rector of the seminary or college, after consulting with 
the Ordinary, or of the major religious superior are required, 
in addition to the testimonials spoken of in the preceding 

4. For the admission of clerics there are required 
only the testimonials of ordination and of the bishops in 
whose dioceses they have lived after ordination for more 
than one morally continuous year, as also of the rector of the 
seminary where they studied. 

5. A professed religious who by permission of the 
Holy See joins another Order, needs only the testimonials 
of the major superior of the former Order. 


6. In addition to these testimonials the major su 
periors who have the right to receive applicants can demand 
of them such other testimonials as seem necessary or useful 
for the purpose. 

7. Women should be received only after accurate in 
vestigation as to their character and disposition. In case 
they have been in a college, etc., the testimonials decreed by 
3 must be obtained. (Canon 544.) 

390. 1. He who has to write the testimonials pre 
scribed by these Canons, shall issue them within three 
months from the time they are asked for; he shall not give 
them to the applicants but to the religious superiors and shall 
append his seal. In case of seminarians, college students, 
and former postulants or novices in another Order, the su 
perior or rector shall confirm the testimonial by oath. 

2. If he of whom are requested testimonials thinks 
that on account of serious reasons he cannot answer, he shall 
within three months explain the reasons to the Holy See. 

3. If he answers that the applicant is not sufficiently 
known to him, the religious superior shall supply the testi 
monials through other accurate investigation and trust 
worthy reports; if the bishop, rector of the seminary, etc., 
does not answer at all, the religious superior who needs the 
testimonial shall inform the Holy See about the failure of 
receiving an answer. 

4. The testimonials are to deal with the origin, man 
ners, talents, character, reputation, studies; whether the can 
didate is under irregularity or other canonical impediment, 
whether the parents are in need of his services, and, in case 
of those who were in a novitiate or in a seminary or college, 
why they were dismissed or why they left of their own ac 
cord. (Canon 545.) 

391. All those who receive the above mentioned infor 
mation are strictly bound to observe secrecy as to the knowl 
edge they secured and from what persons it was obtained. 
(Canon 546.) 

392. 1. In monasteries of women with solemn vows 
the postulant must bring the dowry required by the consti 
tutions or determined by lawful custom. 


2. This dowry shall be given to the monastery before 
the reception of the habit, or shall at least be made certain 
in legal form recognized by the civil law. 

3. In congregations of women with simple vows, the 
existing customs concerning the dowry shall be observed. 

4. The prescribed dowry cannot be remitted, either 
in whole or in part, without an indult of the Holy See, if there 
is question of a community of papal law; and not without 
the permission of the Ordinary, if a diocesan congregation. 
(Canon 547.) 

393. The dowry is acquired irrevocably by the monas 
tery or religious congregation by the death of the religious, 
even though she should have taken only temporary vows. 
(Canon 548.) 

394. After the first profession of a religious her dowry 
is to be placed by the superioress, acting with her council, 
in safe, lawful and fruitful investment. The bishop s consent 
is required, and also that of the regular superior if the nuns 
are under his jurisdiction. It is absolutely forbidden to 
expend the dowry in any way before the death of a sister 
not even for the building of the convent, or the reduction 
of a debt. (Canon 549.) 

395. The dowry must be carefully administered at the 
monastery or habitual residence of the Mother General or 
Mother Provincial. 

The Ordinaries should specially watch over the conser 
vation of dowry and demand an exact account at the time 
of the visitation. (Canon 550.) 

396. The dowry of a sister, either of simple or of sol 
emn vows, who for any reason leaves the religious life must 
be returned to her entirely, without the interests which have 
already matured. 

If a professed sister goes, by indult of the Holy See, over 
to another Order, the new Order has the right to the income 
from the dowry during the novitiate, and upon profession 
in the new Order the dowry itself must be turned over; if 
she is transferred to another monastery (there is understood 
such monastery as is of the nature of an abbey) the dowry 
belongs to that monastery from the time of the transition. 
(Canon 551.) 


397. Two months at least before the reception of 
novices, or the profession of either temporary or perpetual, 
simple or solemn vows, takes place in communities of women, 
even exempt ones, the superioress must notify the bishop. 

The bishop, or in case of absence or other impediment, 
the priest delegated by him, shall at least thirty days before 
the reception examine each of those to be received to the 
novitiate, or admitted to profession, whether she of her own 
free will enters the novitiate or makes, or renews, her pro 
fession. (Canon 552.) 

Article II. Education of the Novices. 

398. The novitiate begins with the reception of the 
habit, or in such other way as prescribed by the constitu 
tions. (Canon 553.) 

399. The house of novitiate shall be erected according 
to the constitutions. If, however, there is question of Or 
ders and congregations approved by Rome, the permission 
of the Holy See is required for the erection of the novitiate. 

There cannot, as a rule, be several novitiates in one and 
the same province, if the organization is divided into prov 
inces, but if there should be grave reason for having several 
novitiates a special indult of the Holy See must be obtained. 

The superiors must place in the house of novitiate only 
such religious that will give a good example of religious dis 
cipline. (Canon 554.) 

400. Besides the other conditions required by Canon 
542, for validity of the novitiate, the following points are de 
manded for a valid novitiate : 

1 The candidate must be at least fifteen years of age. 

2. He must stay in the novitiate for one continuous 
and complete year. 

3. He must stay in the house of novitiate. 

If the constitutions prescribe a longer period for the 
novitiate, this is not necessary for validity, unless the con 
stitutions explicitly demand it under pain of invalidity. 
(Canon 555.) 

401. The novitiate is interrupted so that it must be 
made over again, if the novice after dismissal by the superior 


has actually left the house, or if without permission he left 
the house with the intention not to return, or if for any rea 
son, even with the permission of the superior, he remained 
outside the house of novitiate for over thirty days, either 
continuous or otherwise. 

If the novice remained outside over fifteen days, but not 
over thirty, either with the permission of the superior or by 
force of circumstances, as for instance, fire, flood, etc., and 
continued under the obedience of the superior, it is neces 
sary for validity to supply as many days as the novice was 
away, even though he was absent only a day or two at a 
time. If all the days a novice was absent from the novitiate 
do not amount to over fifteen days, the superior may demand 
that they are supplied, but this is not required under pain 
of invalidity. 

The superior must not give permission to a novice to 
remain outside, except for a serious reason. 

If the novice is transferred by his superiors from one 
house of novitiate to another of the same Order or congre 
gation the novitiate is not interrupted. (Canon 556.) 

402. During the entire year of the novitiate the novice 
shall wear the habit prescribed by the constitutions, unless 
the peculiar circumstances of a place demand otherwise. 
(Canon 557.) 

403. In religious communities where there are two 
classes of novices, the novitiate made for one class is not 
valid for another; for instance, in Orders where some novices 
are destined for the priesthood, others for lay brothers. 
(Canon 558.) 

404. A master of novices is to be appointed for the 
training of the novices. He should be at least thirty-five 
years of age, ten years professed, counting the years from 
his first profession, possessed of the qualities required for 
his office, and in clerical religious communities the master of 
novices must be a priest. 

If on account of the large number of the novices, or for 
another just cause, it seems advisable to have a sub-master 
of novices, he shall be under the immediate authority of the 
master in regard to the management of the novitiate. The 
sub-master should be thirty years of age or over, at least 


five years professed, and possess other necessary qualifica 
tions for hi-s office. 

Both master and sub-master of novices must be free 
from all offices and duties which would interfere with the 
government of the novices. (Canon 559.) 

405. The master and sub-master of novices shall be 
elected according to the constitutions, and, if these fix the 
term of office, the master and sub-master should not within 
their term be removed from office, except for a grave and 
just reason; they may be re-elected. (Canon 560.) 

406. The government of the novitiate belongs exclu 
sively to the master of novices and all others are forbidden 
to interfere, except those superiors to whom the constitu 
tions give that power, and the Visitor. In reference to the 
discipline of the entire community, master and novices alike 
are subject to the local superior. 

The novices are under the authority of the master and 
of the superiors of the Order and are held to obey them. 
(Canon 561.) 

407. The master has the serious duty of zealously in 
structing the novices in the practices of religious life, ac 
cording to the constitutions and the rules of Canon 565. 
(Canon 562.) 

408. During the year of novitiate the master shall 
make report of the conduct of the individual novices to the 
Chapter, or the major superior, according to the regulations 
of the constitutions. (Canon 563.) 

409. The novitiate must, as far as possible, be sepa 
rated from that part of the house where the professed live, 
and without special reason and the permission of the superior 
or the master they shall have no communication with the pro 
fessed religious, nor these with the novices. 

The novices for the lay-brotherhood shall have assigned 
to them a separate place. (Canon 564.) 

410. The master of novices must instruct the novices 
in the Rule and the Constitutions, in the three vows and the 
corresponding virtues, in prayer and meditation, in pious 
exercises conducive to the acquisition of virtue, and in the 
suppression of faulty habits. 

The lay-brother novices should moreover be thoroughly 


instructed in Christian doctrine, for which purpose a spe 
cial instruction shall be given to them at least once a week. 
During the year of novitiate the novice, if a priest, shall 
not be appointed to preach, or to hear confessions, or to at 
tend to services outside the house. The novices should not 
engage in regular courses of studies of letters, sciences or 
arts. The lay-brother novices may within the religious com 
munity attend to the duties of lay-brothers, not, however, as 
principal brother in charge of the various workshops, for 
instance, and only in so far as such work does not interfere 
with the exercises prescribed for them in the novitiate. 
(Canon 565.) 

411. The confessor of the novices in communities of 
women is to be appointed according to Canons 520-527. 

In communities of men, saving the law of Canon 519, 
the following shall be observed: 

1. According to the number of novices there should be 
appointed one or more ordinary confessors, provided the 
master of novices does not hear their confessions, which 
Canon 891 ordinarily forbids. 

2. The ordinary confessors, in clerical religious com 
munities, must be residents of the house of novitiate; in 
laical religious communities they must frequently come to 
the house of novitiate to hear the confessions of novices. 

3. Besides the ordinary confessors, several other con 
fessors should be appointed to whom the novices may freely 
go in particular cases, and the master should not show dis 

4. Four times a year at least the novices shall have an 
extraordinary confessor, whom all novices must approach to 
receive his blessing, if perhaps they do not want to confess 
to him. (Canon 566.) 

412. The novices enjoy all privileges and spiritual 
favors granted to the Order or congregation; if they die as 
novices they have a right to the suffrages prescribed for 
professed members. 

The novices shall not be promoted to orders during the 
novitiate. (Canon 567.) 

413. If the novice during the year of novitiate re 
nounces in any way his right to benefices, or goods, or 


property, such renunciation is not only illicit but invalid by 
law. (Canon 568.) 

414. Before taking simple vows, either temporary or 
perpetual, the novice must cede the administration of his 
temporal goods to a person of his choice and also dispose 
of their use and revenue at pleasure, unless the constitutions 
of his Order have other regulations concerning the use and 
revenue of the goods of novices. 

If a novice did not make any arrangement concerning 
temporal goods because he had none at the time, and after 
wards acquired some, or if he made such disposition, but 
acquired more goods afterwards, he shall notwithstanding 
his simple profession dispose of the goods according to the 
foregoing paragraph of this Canon. 

Novices in religious congregations can, before taking 
temporary vows, freely dispose by last will of goods both 
actually possessed, and those they may chance to receive 
in future. Novices of Orders with solemn vows cannot dis 
pose by last will, or any other way, of goods that may after 
solemn profession come to them by inheritance or other 
right, for from the moment of solemn profession the Order 
enters into all the rights of the professed, or the Holy See 
if the Order is incapable of possessing. (Canon 569.) 

415. No compensation can be asked for the expendi 
tures of keeping a novice in the novitiate, except what the 
constitutions perhaps demand for food and clothing, or what 
was agreed upon for these purposes by explicit contract. 

Whatever the applicant brought along, and has not ac 
tually consumed by use must be returned to the individual if 
he does not make profession and returns to the world. 
(Canon 570.) 

416. The novice is free to leave the community, and 
the superior or the Chapter, according to the constitutions, 
may dismiss the novice for any just cause without obliga 
tion on the part of the superior or Chapter to tell the novice the 
reason why he was dismissed. 

When the year of novitiate is completed the novice, if 
judged qualified, shall be admitted to profession, otherwise 
he must be dismissed. If there exist some doubt as to his 


fitness for profession the major superiors may prolong the 
time of novitiate for not longer than six months. 

Before taking vows the novice shall make a retreat for 
at least eight full days. (Canon 571.) 


Religious Profession. 

417. For the validity of any religious profession the 
following is required : 

1. The novice must have the requisite age according 
to Canon 573, namely, at least sixteen years. 

2. He must be admitted to profession by the legitimate 
superior, he, namely, who has by the constitutions of the 
respective Order or congregation the right to admit to pro 
fession, or to delegate others. 

3. A valid novitiate must have preceded, according to 
the conditions of Canon 555. 

4. The profession must be made without force or grave 
fear or deceit. 

5. The profession must be explicit. Up to the present 
time there was no general law of the Church demanding an 
explicit profession under pain of invalidity, and an implicit 
profession was recognized under certain circumstances, un 
less the constitutions of an Order or congregation positively 
rejected implied profession. 

6. The profession must be made into the hands of the 
superior whom the constitutions authorize or his delegate. 

For the validity of the profession of perpetual vows, 
both simple and solemn, it is, moreover, required that the 
simple, temporary profession precedes, according to Canon 
574. (Canon 572.) 

418. Whosoever wants to make religious profession 
must be fully sixteen years of age if there is question of tem 
porary vows ; and twenty-one years in the case of perpetual 
profession either solemn or simple. (Canon 573.) 

419. In every Order, both of men and women, and in 
every congregation which has perpetual vows, the novice 
must in the house of novitiate take temporary vows for three 
years, or for a longer period if he will not yet be twenty-one 


years of age after three years of temporary vows. If the 
constitutions demand yearly profession, they are to be fol 
lowed. An exception from this rule is made only in case of 
transition of a perpetually professed member to another 
Order, of which Canon 634 treats. 

In this Canon there are two important points which are 
new in the legislation of the Church. Up to the present time 
the clerical novices in many Orders took simple perpetual 
vows immediately after the novitiate. By the present law 
all novices without distinction must take temporary vows for 
at least three years ; secondly, they must be fully twenty-one 
years of age in order to take solemn vows in religious Orders, 
and simple perpetual vows in congregations. The vows up 
to twenty-one years of age must necessarily be temporary, 
for only after those years does the Code habilitate a person 
to take perpetual or solemn vows. 

The superior who has authority to admit members to 
profession may prolong the period of the temporary vows 
by making the religious again take temporary vows, but not 
for more than another term of three years. (Canon 574.) 

420. After the time of the temporary vows has expired, 
the religious may either return to the world, according to 
Canon 637, or make the perpetual profession which is either 
simple or solemn, according to the constitutions of various 
religious organizations. If during the period of the tem 
porary vows the religious is not judged worthy to take 
solemn vows he may be dismissed in the manner defined by 
Canon 647. 

The vote of the council or the Chapter for the first, tem 
porary profession, is deliberative, which means that the su 
perior is not allowed to act against it; for the following, per 
petual profession both simple and solemn it is merely 
consultive, which does not oblige the superior to act accord 
ing to the vote. (Canon 575.) 

421. In the making of the profession the rite pre 
scribed by the constitutions shall be observed. 

The record of the profession shall be signed by both the 
religious who made the profession, and the one who received 
the profession. Moreover, when there is question of solemn 
profession, the superior who officiated shall inform the pastor 


of the place where the professed was baptized, as Canon 470, 
2, demands. (Canon 576.) 

422. When the time of the temporary vows expires, 
there should be no delay in the renewal of the vows. 

Faculty is given to the superiors to allow for a good 
reason that the renewal of temporary vows may be anticipated 
for some time, not over one month. (Canon 577.) 

423. The religious who are under temporary vows in 
Orders and congregations, according to Canon 574: 

1. Enjoy the same indulgences, privileges and spiritual 
favors as the religious in perpetual or solemn vows, and if 
they die in temporary vows they have the right to the same 
suffrages as the other professed members. 

2. They are held to the observance of the Rule and 
constitutions, but, if the Order has the obligation of the 
choir, they are not held to the private recitation of the Divine 
office, unless they are in sacred orders, or the constitutions 
impose the private recitation. 

3. They have neither active nor passive vote, unless 
the constitutions explicitly state otherwise. The time, how 
ever, prescribed for having active and passive vote, for in 
stance, the requirement of ten years of profession for being 
elected to an office, is counted from the first profession, if 
the constitutions determine nothing on this point. (Canon 

424. The simple profession, both temporary and per 
petual, renders actions against the vows illicit, not invalid, 
unless the contrary has been explicitly decreed. The solemn 
profession, however, renders actions contrary to the vows 
also invalid, if they can be invalidated by their nature. 
(Canon 579.) 

425. Every simple professed religious, whether in tem 
porary or perpetual vows, retains the proprietorship of his 
goods and the capacity to acquire other goods, within the 
limits of Canon 569, unless the constitutions limit the ca 
pacity to possess, or to acquire. 

Whatever the religious acquires by work, or what is 
given him in consideration of his being a religious, he ac 
quires for the community. 

Any change which the professed religious wants to make 


concerning the administration, use, etc., of his goods, spoken 
of in Canon 569, 2, he cannot make of his own free will 
(unless the constitutions allow this), but he needs the per 
mission of the supreme head of the Order or congregation; 
in communities of nuns with solemn vows the permission 
of the bishop, and of the regular superior also if the nuns 
are under his jurisdiction, is demanded. Such change can 
not be allowed if it is made for the benefit of the religious 
community in notable quantity. By the very fact of aban 
doning the religious life all cession of rights and other dis 
positions are annulled, and the former religious regains his 
rights to the goods of which he had the ownership. The 
Church forbids that simple professed religious give up the 
ownership of the goods they have, for the reason that through 
loss of vocation or other reasons it may become necessary 
to dispense a religious from his vows, in which case he will 
need again what goods he had. (Canon 580.) 

426. The simple professed religious cannot validly re 
nounce rights of proprietorship of his goods until two months 
before solemn profession, at which time he must, under con 
dition that solemn profession is made, renounce all goods 
which he actually has in favor of any persons he prefers. 
Special indults given by the Holy See to Orders of solemn 
vows that solemn professed members retain proprietorship 
of the goods they have, are to remain in force. 

When solemn profession has been made, the formalities 
of the civil law necessary to make the renunciation of the 
goods of the professed valid in the civil courts should be com 
plied with. (Canon 581.) 

427. After solemn profession, saving special indults of 
the Holy See, all goods which may in any way come to the 
individual religious (1) belong to the Order, or province, or 
house, according to the constitutions, if the Order is capable 
to possess goods; (2) in an Order incapacitated by Canon 
Law to possess, the Holy See assumes the title of ownership. 
(Canon 582.) 

428. The simple professed religious in congregations 
are not allowed: (1) to give away or make donation of their 
goods; (2) they may not change the last will made accord 
ing to Canon 569, 3, without permission of the Holy See, 


or, if the matter is urgent and there is no time for recourse 
to Rome, without the permission of the major superior of 
the congregation, or at least the local superior if the major 
superior cannot be reached in time. (Canon 583.) 

429. After one year from the making of any profession, 
parochial benefices which the professed religious possessed 
become vacant; other benefices after three years. (Canon 

430. The religious who takes perpetual vows, whether 
simple or solemn, thereby loses his own proper diocese he 
had when in the world. (Canon 585.) 

431. The profession which was invalid on account of 
some external impediment does not become valid by any 
subsequent acts; it is necessary either to obtain a sanatio 
from the Holy See, or to make the profession over again 
after the impediment has ceased and the religious has come 
to the knowledge of the nullity of his profession. 

If the profession was invalid merely on account of want 
of internal consent, it is validated by giving consent, pro 
vided the consent of the Order or congregation has not been 

If there is serious doubt as to the validity of the pro 
fession, and the religious refuses either to ask for a sanatio 
ad cautelam from the Holy See, or to make the profession 
over again, the matter shall be laid before the Holy See. 
(Canon 586.) 


Studies in Clerical Religious Communities. 

432. Every clerical religious organization shall have 
houses of study approved by the General Chapter or the su 
periors, and, according to Canon 554, 3, only such religious 
that are perfect in their religious life shall be placed in those 

In the house of study the community life must be per 
fect, otherwise the students cannot be promoted to orders. 

If the province has no properly equipped houses of 
study, or though it has them, access to them has become 
difficult, the religious students may be sent to a well 
equipped house of studies of another province, or another 


Order, or to the episcopal seminary, or to a Catholic Uni 

Religious who are sent to a distant place for study are 
not allowed to board in private houses, but must live either 
in a nearby house of their Order, or with another religious 
community of men, or in a seminary or other institution 
in charge of priests and approved by the ecclesiastical au 
thority. (Canon 587.) 

433. During the entire course of studies the religious 
shall be under the special care of a prefect or master, who 
shall lead them on in religious life by timely admonition and 

The prefect or master must have the same qualifications 
as required in the master of novices by Canon 559, 2, 3. 

The superiors shall see to it that the regulations of 
Canon 595 for all religious houses are most perfectly ob 
served in the house of studies. (Canon 588.) 

434. The religious, after due instruction in the inferior 
studies, shall engage in the study of philosophy for at least 
two years, in theology four years, following the teaching of 
St. Thomas, according to Canon 1366, 2, and the instruc 
tions of the Holy See. 

During the time of studies no duties should be imposed 
on professors and students which will interfere in any way 
with the studies. The General, and in particular cases other 
superiors, may exempt professors and students from some 
community exercises and also from the choir, especially the 
midnight office, if they judge it necessary. (Canon 589.) 

435. The religious priests shall each year, for at least 
five years after the completion of the course of studies pass 
an examination before learned Fathers appointed for that 
purpose. Those who teach sacred theology, Canon Law or 
scholastic philosophy are exempted, and the major superiors may 
exempt others for a grave reason. (Canon 590.) 

436. In every large community (domus formata) at 
least there shall be held once a month, or more frequently, 
a discussion on moral or liturgical cases to which may, at 
the discretion of the superior, be added a sermon on dog 
matic and kindred subjects. All professed clerics who en- 


gage in the study of theology, and the priests of the com 
munity must assist at these conferences, unless the constitu 
tions rule otherwise. (Canon 591.) 

Duties and Privileges of Religious. 


437. All religious are held to the common obligations 
of the clergy outlined in Canons 124-142, unless the context 
or the nature of the law argue the contrary. (Canon 592.) 

438. All religious, superiors as well as subjects, must 
not only faithfully keep the vows which they have taken, 
but also live according to the Rules and Constitutions proper 
to their Order or congregation, and in this manner strive 
after the perfection of their state. (Canon 593.) 

439. In every community the community life shall be 
followed by all, also in those things pertaining to food, cloth 
ing and furniture. 

Whatever is acquired by religious, not excepting the 
superior, according to Canons 580, 2, and 582, n. 1, must 
be added to the goods of the Order, province, or house, and 
any money, deeds, etc., must be deposited in the common 

The furniture of the religious must be in harmony with 
the poverty they have vowed in their profession. (Canon 

440. The superiors shall see to it that all religious : 

1. Make a retreat each year. 

2. Are present at the daily Mass, and perform the medi 
tations and other spiritual exercises prescribed by Rule and 

3. Make their confession at least each week. 

The superiors shall promote frequent and daily Com 
munion ; frequent and even daily Communion must be freely 
allowed to religious who are properly disposed. 

If a religious after the last confession has given great 
scandal to the community, or has committed an external 


mortal sin, the superior can forbid that person to go to Holy 
Communion until he has gone again to confession. 

If any religious community, both of simple and solemn 
vows, has regulations or constitutions in which the days for 
Holy Communion are prescribed, such regulations shall have 
merely the force of directive rules. (Canon 595.) 

441. All religious shall wear the habit of their Order 
or congregation in the house as well as outside, unless ac 
cording to the judgment of the major superior, or in case of 
necessity, of the local superior, an exception should be made. 
(Canon 596.) 

442. The papal enclosure must be observed in all 
houses of religious men and women with solemn vows, even 
in the small houses or residences. 

Under the law of enclosure fall the whole house inhab 
ited by the religious, with the gardens and recreation 
grounds reserved to the religious. The public church with 
the adjoining sacristy, the hospice for strangers, the parlors, 
which should as far as possible be near the door of the house, 
are excepted from the enclosure. 

The places subject to the law of enclosure shall be 
plainly indicated by public notices. The major superior or 
the General Chapter, as the constitutions may determine, and 
in case of nuns with solemn vows the bishop, shall have the 
right and duty to accurately fix the limits of the enclosure 
or also to change them for good reasons. (Canon 597.) 

443. Within the enclosure of regulars, women of any 
age, family and state, are forbidden to be admitted under 
any pretext. 

Exception from this law is made for the wives and their 
lady attendants of the highest rulers of nations. (Canon 598.) 

444. If a house of regulars has attached to it a school 
or college for its own students, or conducts other institutions 
proper to the Order, a separate part of the building should 
be reserved, as far as possible, for the exclusive dwelling of 
the religious and subject to the law of enclosure. 

To the places outside the enclosure set apart for the 
students or for other purposes of the Order, women should 
not be admitted except for good reason and with permission 
of the superior. (Canon 599.) 


445. Within the enclosure of nuns with solemn vows 
no person of whatever sex, age, family, and condition of life 
must be admitted without the permission of the Holy See. 
The only exceptions granted are as follows : 

1. The local Ordinary, or the regular superior, or an 
other Visitor delegated by them may at the time of visita 
tion enter the enclosure for the purpose of inspection only, 
and on condition that at least one cleric or religious of ma 
ture age accompany them. 

2. The confessor, or the priest who takes his place, 
may with due precautions enter the enclosure to administer 
the Sacraments or to assist the dying. 

3. The highest ruler of the nation with his wife and 
escort; also Cardinals. 

4. The Mother Superior may, with previous general 
permission of the local Ordinary, and the observance of due 
precautions, admit within the enclosure doctors, surgeons 
and others whose help is needed. If necessity urges, and 
there is no time to ask the approval of the bishop for admit 
ting the aforesaid persons, the law presumes permission. 
(Canon 600.) 

446. No nun with solemn vows is allowed to leave the 
enclosure without special permission from the Holy See, 
except in a case of imminent danger of death or other most 
serious evil. 

If there is time, the local Ordinary must be consulted 
concerning the reason for leaving the enclosure. (Canon 

447. The enclosure of nuns with solemn vows must be 
so arranged that view of the outside world is cut off, and 
that outsiders cannot look in. (Canon 602.) 

448. The enclosure of nuns, though they be under the 
jurisdiction of the regulars, is subject to the bishop of the 
diocese who can punish all violations of the enclosure, even 
on the part of the regulars, with ecclesiastical penalties and 

The enclosure of nuns subject to the regulars is, more 
over, under the jurisdiction and custody of the regular su 
perior, who can punish the nuns and his other subjects with 


ecclesiastical penalties for the violation of the law of en 
closure. (Canon 603.) 

449. In the houses of religious congregations of 
women, both of papal law and diocesan, the law of enclosure 
shall be observed so that those only who by law have a right 
to enter, as specified in Canons 598, 2, and 600, shall be 
admitted, and others with permission of the superiors for 
good reason. 

The regulations of Canon 599 shall be applied also to 
the houses of religious congregations of men and women. 

The bishop may for special and serious reasons safe 
guard the enclosure of congregations with ecclesiastical cen 
sures, except for a clerical, exempt congregation; the bishop 
has, however, the right in all cases to see to the observance 
of the enclosure, and to correct abuses that might creep in. 
(Canon 604.) 

450. All those whose duty it is to guard the enclosure 
shall see to it that the religious discipline and spirit does not 
suffer by useless visits of outsiders. (Canon 605.) 

451. Superiors shall attend to it that regulations of 
their own constitutions concerning the going out of subjects, 
the visiting of seculars, and the visits in the parlor, are faith 
fully observed. 

The superiors cannot give permission, outside the cases 
mentioned in Canons 621-624, to their subjects to live outside 
the houses of the Order, except for a short period. For an 
absence of more than six months, except in cases of study, 
the permission of the Holy See must be obtained. (Canon 

452. The superioress and the bishops shall see to it that 
no sister, except in case of necessity, shall go out of the house 
without another sister as companion. (Canon 607.) 

453. The superiors should see to it that the religious 
priests destined for outside work do gladly and willingly help 
out, at the request of the Ordinary or of the pastors, in the 
sacred ministry wherever they are needed, especially in their 
own diocese; religious discipline, however, must not suffer 
by it. 

On the other hand, Ordinaries and pastors are urged by 
the Church to avail themselves of the work of the religious, 


especially of those in their own diocese, in the sacred min 
istry, particularly for confessions. (Canon 608.) 

454. If a church at which the religious live, is at the 
same time a parish church, the rules of Canon 415 shall be 

In the churches of religious women, either with solemn 
or simple vows, no parish can be established. 

The superiors should see to it that the services in their 
churches do not interfere with the attendance at the cateche 
tical instructions and the explanation of the holy Gospel in 
the parish churches. The judgment concerning this question 
is left to the bishop. This Canon has reference to places 
where the religious have no parish church. (Canon 609.) 

455. In all houses of religious, both men and women, 
who have the obligation of the choir, the Divine office must 
be said if there are at least four choir members who are not 
actually impeded by lawful impediment; even fewer members 
may be bound to say the office in common, if the constitu 
tions so demand it. 

The Holy Mass corresponding, according to the rubrics, 
with the office of the day, shall daily be said in all religious 
houses of men, and also, as far as possible, in those of sisters. 

In Orders of men, and Orders of nuns with solemn vows, 
who have the obligation of the choir, the solemn professed, 
with the exception of the lay-members, shall be bound to re 
cite the Divine office privately, if they have been absent from 
choir. (Canon 610.) 

456. All religious, both men and sisters, may freely 
write and send letters, without their being subject to inspec 
tion, when addressed to the Holy See or the Papal Legate of 
the country, to the Cardinal Protector of the Order, to their 
own major superiors, to their own local superior during his 
absence from the house, and to the local bishop, if they are 
subject to him, and the nuns who stand under the jurisdiction 
of the regulars, also to the major superiors of the Order. The 
same religious may likewise receive letters from the aforesaid 
superiors which no one is allowed to open and inspect. (Canon 

457. The bishop may command also the exempt reli 
gious to have, according to Canon 1345, a brief explanation 


of the holy Gospel in the Masses on Sundays, prescribe the 
ringing of church bells on certain occasions, ordain public 
prayers, processions, etc., saving the constitutions and privi 
leges proper to each Order. (Canon 612.) 

Privileges of the Religious. 

458. Each religious Order or congregation has only 
those privileges which are either contained in this Code or 
which have been directly granted to each, and for the future 
all communication of privileges is excluded. 

The privileges which regulars enjoy belong likewise to 
the solemn professed nuns of the same Order, in as far as 
they are capable of enjoying them. (Canon 613.) 

459. All religious, not excluding lay-brothers and nov 
ices, enjoy the privileges of clerics spoken of in Canons 119- 
123. (Canon 614.) 

460. Regulars, and nuns with solemn vows subject to 
regulars, are exempt with their novices, houses and churches 
from the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese, with the 
exception of the cases explicitly mentioned in the law. 
(Canon 615.) 

461. Regulars who are unlawfully away from their 
house, even though under the pretext of recurring to their 
superiors, do not enjoy the privilege of exemption. 

If a regular has committed a crime outside the religious 
house and the Ordinary has without result admonished the 
superior to punish him, the Ordinary can punish such a reli 
gious, even though he was lawfully outside the house when 
he committed the crime, and has since returned to the house. 
(Canon 616.) 

462. If disorders have crept into an exempt religious 
house and the bishop has without result asked the superiors 
to stop the disorders, the bishop is obliged to refer the mat 
ter to the Holy See. 

The small houses or residences of even the exempt reli 
gious remain under the special vigilance of the local Ordi 
nary, and if there abuses have crept in which are a scandal to 
the faithful, the Ordinary may in the meantime while await- 


ing instructions from the Holy See take the steps necessary 
to end the scandal (Canon 617.) 

463. Religious congregations with simple vows do not 
possess the privilege of exemption, unless it has been spe 
cially given them by the Holy See. 

In religious congregations of papal law the bishop is not 
allowed: (1) to change the constitutions in any way, or to 
interfere in the administration of the goods and property, 
except in as far as Canons 533-535 give him the right; (2) to 
interfere in the internal government and discipline of the 
religious, except in the cases stated in law. Nevertheless, in 
lay-congregations the bishop has the right to inquire whether 
the religious discipline is observed according to the constitu 
tions, whether in faith or morals there is fault to be found, 
whether the enclosure is observed, whether the Sacraments 
are received as frequently as they should. If the superiors, 
after having been admonished to correct abuses, have not 
done their duty he himself may take the matter in hand. If, 
however, anything of greater importance arises which does 
not suffer any delay, he may give his orders but he must re 
port to the Holy See what he has done in the matter. (Canon 

464. In all matters in which religious are subject to the 
bishop they may also be punished by him with ecclesiastical 
penalties. (Canon 619.) 

465. By an indult legitimately granted by the Ordinary 
to the people of the diocese, the religious living in the diocese 
are also freed from the obligation of the common law from 
which dispensation was granted, saving the vows and the 
constitutions of the various Orders or congregations. (Canon 

466. Regulars who are by their institution mendicants 
and live as such, may in the diocese in which they have a 
house go begging for alms with the sole permission of their 
superiors. Outside the diocese they need the written per 
mission of the Ordinary of the diocese. 

This permission the Ordinaries of nearby dioceses 
should not deny, nor recall, except for grave and urgent rea 
sons, if the religious house cannot get sufficient support from 
the alms collected in its own diocese. (Canon 621.) 


467. All other congregations of papal law are forbidden 
to collect alms without special permission of the Holy See. 
If they have obtained this permission, they need, moreover, 
the written consent of the local Ordinary, unless the papal in- 
dult states otherwise. 

A diocesan congregation must have permission to ask 
for alms of both the bishop in whose diocese their house is 
located and the bishop in whose diocese they wish to go 

Religious congregations should not be allowed to go 
begging except when it is really necessary, and if it suffices 
for their needs to beg in the place or diocese where the house 
is located, permission to go to other places or dioceses should 
not be given them. 

Latin Ordinaries should not allow any of the Orientals 
of any Order or any ecclesiastical dignity to collect money in 
their diocese unless these men have an authentic and recent 
rescript of the S. Congregation for the Oriental Church. 
Bishops of the Latin Rite should not let their subjects go 
into an Oriental diocese for alms. (Canon 622.) 

468. Superiors are not allowed to send out for alms any 
other than professed members of mature age, especially when 
there is question of sisters, and never should they send out 
religious engaged in studies. (Canon 623.) 

469. As to the manner of going out begging for alms 
the religious of either sex must observe the instructions that 
have been issued before by the Holy See. (Canon 624.) 

470. The regular abbots in charge of an abbey must 
within three months from their election receive the blessing 
from the bishop of the diocese in which the abbey is situated. 
After the reception of the blessing they have the power to 
confer the first tonsure and minor orders according to Canon 
964, and enjoy also the privileges mentioned in Canon 325, 
with the exception of the purple skull cap. (Canon 625.) 


Duties and Privileges of a Religious Promoted to an Eccle 
siastical Dignity, or to Rectorship of a Parish. 

471. The religious cannot without indult of the Holy 


See be promoted to dignities, offices or benefices incompa 
tible with the religious state. 

A religious legitimately elected by some college to such 
offices cannot assent to the election without the permission 
of his superior. 

If the religious is held by vow not to accept dignities, a 
special dispensation of the Roman Pontiff is required. 
(Canon 626.) 

472. The religious raised to the Cardinalate or the epis 
copate, whether residential or titular, continues to enjoy the 
privileges of his Order, and remains subject to the vows and 
other obligations of his profession, with the exception of 
those things which according to his judgment are not com 
patible with his dignity. Other exceptions are contained in 
the following Canon. 

He is, however, exempt from the authority of his su 
periors, and, as far as his vow of obedience is concerned, he 
becomes subject solely to the Roman Pontiff. (Canon 627.) 

473. The religious who has been raised to the dignity 
of the episcopate or any other outside his own Order: 

1. If he by his profession lost the ownership of goods, 
he gets the use, usufruct and administration of the goods 
which he acquires; the proprietorship of goods acquired by 
a residential bishop, Vicar-, or Prefect-Apostolic belongs to 
the diocese, vicariate or prefecture, the proprietorship of the 
goods of titular bishops, or any others not mentioned above, 
goes to the Holy See, according to the rules of Canons 582 
and 239, 1, n. 19. 

2. If he did not lose proprietorship by his profession, he 
regains the use, usufruct and administration of the goods he 
had, and those he acquires afterwards he acquires for himself 
with full right. 

In both cases he must dispose of those goods which do 
not come to him in consideration of his own person according 
to the will of the donors. (Canon 628.) 

474. When he abdicates the Cardinalate or episcopate 
or has finished the office outside the Order committed to him 
by the Holy See, the religious is bound to return to the Or 

A Cardinal or a bishop returning to his Order may 


choose any house of his Order where he wishes to stay but 
he has neither active nor passive vote. (Canon 629.) 

475. The religious who rules a parish with the title of 
either pastor or vicar, remains bound to the observance of the 
vows and constitutions in as far as their observance is pos 
sible in performing the duties of his office. 

Wherefore in those things which pertain to the religious 
discipline he is subject to the religious superior to whom 
alone it belongs, to the exclusion of the Ordinary, to inquire 
concerning his observance of the religious life and to punish 

The goods which come to him in consideration of the 
parish which he governs, he acquires for the parish, other 
goods he acquires in the same manner as other religious of 
his Order or congregation. 

Notwithstanding his vow of poverty he is allowed to ac 
cept and collect and administrate alms for the benefit of the 
parishioners, or for the Catholic school, or other pious insti 
tutes connected with the parish. He may also according to 
his judgment spend those alms in accordance with the inten 
tion of the donors. The superior, however, has the right to 
watch the doings of the pastor. To collect, accept, keep and 
administrate alms for the building, conservation, repair or 
decoration of the parish church belongs to the superior if the 
church is owned by the religious community; otherwise to 
the bishop. (Canon 630.) 

476. Such a pastor or vicar is subject to the visitation, 
correction and entire jurisdiction of the bishop, like any other 
pastor, excepting only the question of his religious observ 
ances. The bishop has this power over a religious pastor 
even though he is pastor in the place where the major su 
perior has his ordinary residence. 

The bishop when finding the pastor neglectful in his 
office can issue commands and punish him with ecclesiastical 
penalties. The religious superior, however, has the same 
right as the bishop to proceed against the neglectful pastor. 
If the bishop and the superior disagree, the orders of the 
bishop prevail. 

Both the bishop and the religious superior have equal 
rights in removing the pastor, and neither has to give a rea- 


son to the other, as Canon 454, 5, states. As regards con 
tracts and investments, etc., concerning the goods of the 
parish the bishop s consent is required as demanded by 
Canons 533, 1, n. 4, and 535, 3, n. 2. (Canon 631.) 

Transition to another Order. 

477. A religious cannot go over to another Order, even 
a stricter one, nor from one independent monastery to an 
other, without permission from the Holy See. (Canon 632.) 

478. The religious who goes over to another Order 
must make the novitiate, during which the vows he has taken 
in the first Order continue, but the particular duties and priv 
ileges of that Order are suspended. He is held to obey the 
superiors and the master of novices of the new Order also in 
virtue of the vow of obedience. 

If he does not make profession in the Order to which he 
goes over, he must return to the former Order, unless his 
temporary vows have expired in the meantime. 

The religious who goes over from one monastery to an 
other of the same Order, for instance if a religious of the 
Order of St. Benedict obtains papal indult to join another 
Benedictine abbey, need not make again novitiate and pro 
fession. (Canon 633.) 

479. A religious in solemn or simple perpetual vows, 
who obtains the papal indult to join another religious organi 
zation with solemn or perpetual simple vows, shall after the 
completion of the novitiate in the new Order or congregation 
take immediately either solemn or perpetual simple vows, or, 
if rejected, return to his former Order or congregation. The 
superior has the right to prolong the time of novitiate for an 
other year, but no longer. (Canon 634.) This Canon is an 
exception to the rule of Canon 574 which demands that in all 
religious communities temporary vows should be made be 
fore a person is admitted to solemn or simple perpetual vows. 
It may be noted, also, that this Canon refers only to religious 
who join another Order or congregation while they are under 
vows. If they obtained a dispensation from their vows and 
after that the permission to enter another Order or congre 
gation, they must follow the law of Canon 574. 


480. Those religious who go over to another monastery 
of the same Order, shall from the day of transition, and those 
who go to a different Order, shall from the day of profession 
in that Order: 

1. Lose all rights, and are freed from all obligations, of 
the former Order or monastery, and acquire the rights and 
are subject to the obligations of the new Order, or monas 

2. The former Order or monastery retains the goods of 
which it has already acquired ownership on account of the 
religious. As regards the dowry and its revenue, and other 
personal goods which the religious might have, the rule of 
Canon 551, 2, is to be observed. The new Order has the 
right to demand some compensation for maintenance of the 
religious during the year of novitiate, if the Order is accord 
ing to Canon 570, 1, allowed to accept compensation for 
the maintenance of novices. (Canon 635.) 

481. If a religious with solemn vows has obtained per 
mission to join a congregation with simple vows, his former 
solemn vows are dissolved by the very taking of simple vows 
in the congregation, unless the papal indult expressly states 
the contrary. (Canon 636.) 

Departure from Religious Life. 

482. The religious who has taken temporary vows may 
freely leave religious life when the time of the vows has ex 
pired. The superior may also for good reason refuse to let 
the religious take again temporary or perpetual vows and 
dismiss him, except for reason of illness, unless it can be 
proved that he had the malady before entering and inten 
tionally deceived the Order or congregation. (Canon 637.) 

483. The indult to live outside the cloister, whether 
temporary, called the indult of exclaustration, or perpetual, 
called secularization, can only be given by the Holy See for 
Orders and for congregations of papal law. For diocesan con 
gregations the local Ordinary can give this indult. (Canon 

484. A religious who obtained from the Holy See the 


indult of exclaustration is held to the observance of his reli 
gious duties, in so far as they can be observed in his condi 
tion, but he is not allowed to wear the religious garb. Dur 
ing the time of the temporary secularization he has neither 
active nor passive vote in the Order but he enjoys the purely 
spiritual privileges of his Order, and, as regards his vow of 
obedience, he becomes subject to the bishop in place of the 
superiors of the Order. (Canon 639.) 

485. The religious who obtains an indult of seculariza 
tion and leaves the Order: 

1. Becomes separated from his Order, and cannot wear 
the exterior garb of the Order; in Holy Mass and the Divine 
office, and in the reception of, and administration of, the 
Sacraments he is equalled to the seculars. 

2. He is free from the vows but if he is in sacred orders 
he is held to the obligations of clerics in major orders; he is 
not held to the recitation of the Divine office by reason of 
his profession, nor to the other rules and regulations of reli 
gious life. 

If the secularized religious is again received into the 
Order or congregation, for which an Apostolic indult is re 
quired, he must make the novitiate and profession and take 
his place in the community from the day of the new profes 
sion. (Canon 640.) 

486. If a religious in major orders did not lose his dio 
cese, as determined by Canon 585, and he returns to the 
world, either at the expiration of his temporary vows or by 
indult of secularization, he must go to his own diocese and 
the Ordinary is bound to receive him. If he has lost his dio 
cese, namely by taking perpetual vows, he cannot exercise 
his major orders after having left the Order unless he finds 
a bishop willing to receive him, or the Holy See has made 
other provision. 

The bishop may receive the secularized religious either 
unconditionally or for a three years experiment. If received 
unconditionally, the religious becomes then and there incor 
porated in that diocese; in the other case the bishop can pro 
long the time of probation, not, however, for more than 
another term of three years. When the second term of three 
years has expired the religious becomes ipso facto incorpo- 


rated, unless he has been dismissed before the end of the 
term. (Canon 641.) 

487. Every secularized religious who may according to 
Canon 641 exercise the sacred ministry is nevertheless for 
bidden without a new and special indult of the Holy See : 

1. To obtain any benefice in major and minor basilicas 
and in the cathedral church. 

2. To obtain any professorship or office in the major and 
minor seminaries and in colleges in which clerics are edu 
cated, as also in any university or institution which by papal 
indult confers academic degrees. 

3. To obtain any office or position in the Curia of the 
bishop, or in religious houses both of men or women, even 
when there is question of diocesan congregations. 

These rules apply also to those men and women who 
have taken temporary vows, or the oath of perseverance, or 
certain special promises according to the constitutions of 
their organizations, and have been dispensed from them, 
after they lived in them for fully six years. (Canon 642.) 

488. Religious who leave their Order or congregation 
at the expiration of the temporary vows, or by indult of secu 
larization, or being dismissed, cannot ask for any compensa 
tion for work done for the Order or congregation. 

However, if a religious woman had been received with 
out a dowry and has no goods of her own, the religious or 
ganization is held by charity to give her what is necessary 
to reach her home in a safe and respectable manner, and to 
provide, according to natural equity, for some time a respec 
table living. This arrangement is to be made by common 
consent and in case of disagreement the bishop is to decide 
what equity demands in the case of a woman who has no 
means of her own, until she can get work or position. 
(Canon 643.) 

489. An apostate is a religious with either simple per 
petual or solemn vows who unlawfully leaves the religious 
house with intention not to return, or he who had indeed per 
mission to go out but fails to return because he wants to 
withdraw from the religious obedience. 

The evil intention to separate himself from the religious 
life is presumed by law if the religious does not return within 


a month, nor has notified his superior of his intention to re 

A fugitive is a religious who leaves the house without the 
permission of the superiors but has the intention to return. 
(Canon 644.) 

490. The apostate and the fugitive are not released 
from the obligation of observing the Rule and vows and have 
the duty to return without delay. 

The superiors have the duty of searching for them and 
to receive them if they return with true repentance. In case 
of a sister who has become an apostate or fugitive, the Ordi 
nary shall take the necessary steps for her return, and in case 
of exempt nuns also the regular superior. (Canon 645.) 


Dismissal of Religious. 

491. Religious are to be considered dismissed ipso facto 
in the following cases : 

1. In public apostasy from the Catholic faith. 

2. If the religious elopes with a woman, or the religious 
sister with a man. 

3. Those attempting, or contracting, marriage, or con 
cluding a so-called civil marriage bond. 

In these cases it suffices that the major superior with his 
Chapter or council, as the constitutions may demand, makes 
a declaration of the fact. He shall, however, take care that 
the proofs of the fact which were collected are preserved in 
the archives of the house. (Canon 646.) 


Dismissal of Religious with Temporary Vows. 

492. The professed religious with temporary vows, 
both in Orders and congregations of papal law, can be dis 
missed by the supreme head of the organization, or the abbot 
of an independent monastery, with the consent of their re 
spective council, to be expressed by secret vote. In monas 
teries of nuns the Ordinary, or if the house is subject to the 
regulars, the regular superior, can dismiss the nun, after the 
superioress of the monastery with her council have in writing 
attested the reasons for dismissal. In diocesan congrega- 


tions the bishop in whose diocese the house is situated has 
the right to dismiss sisters but he should not make use of that 
right without the knowledge nor against the reasonable ob 
jection of the superioress. 

The aforesaid persons cannot exercise the right of dis 
missal unless they conscientiously observe the following 
points : 

1. The reasons for dismissal must be serious. 

2. There may be reasons either on the part of the reli 
gious or on the part of the organization. The want of a 
religious spirit which is a scandal to others is sufficient rea 
son for dismissal, if admonition together with penance did 
not have any result. Poor health is no reason, except it is 
known with certainty that the malady had before profession 
been intentionally concealed. 

3. The reason for dismissal must be known with cer 
tainty to the superior, but a formal canonical trial is not re 
quired. The religious must be told of the reasons why he is 
dismissed, and be given a chance to freely answer concern 
ing the charges, and his answer must in full be given to the 
superior who has the right of dismissal. 

4. Against the decree of dismissal the religious has the 
right to appeal to the Holy See, and, pending the appeal, the 
dismissal has no juridical effect. 

5. In reference to a dismissed sister Canon 643, 2, 
is to be observed. (Canon 647.) 

493. The religious who has been dismissed according 
to the preceding Canon is ipso facto solved from the vows of 
religion; the cleric in major orders, however, is subject to 
the obligations of those orders and to the other regulations 
of Canons 641, 1, and 64 9 , The cleric in minor orders is 
by the very dismissal reduced to the state of the laity. 
(Canon 648.) 


Dismissal of Religious with Perpetual Vows in Non-exempt 
Clerical and in All Laical Organizations. 

494. In non-exempt clerical and in all laical Orders or 
congregations of men, a religious with perpetual vows can 
not be dismissed unless he has previously committed three 


crimes and been twice admonished without result, according 
to the rules of Canons 656-662. (Canon 649.) 

495. 1. When such a threefold crime has been com 
mitted, the supreme head of the Order or congregation, to 
gether with his council shall, considering all circumstances, 
discuss whether there is cause for dismissal. 

2. If the majority of the votes is in favor of dismissal : 

1. In diocesan congregations the entire matter is to be 
referred to the Ordinary of the diocese where the house of 
the religious is situated, who may decide as he sees fit, ac 
cording to Canon 647. 

2. In a clerical congregation of papal law the supreme 
head of the congregation itself issues the decree of dismissal, 
but in order to have effect it must be confirmed by the Holy 

3. The religious has a right to freely defend himself, 
and his defense must be faithfully entered in the acts of the 
proceeding. (Canon 650.) 

496. To dismiss religious women with perpetual vows 
either simple or solemn, there are likewise serious external 
causes required, together with incorrigibility, and time for 
amendment must have been granted so that the superioress 
may judge of the hopelessness of further experiment. 

The rule of Canon 650, 3, is to be observed also in the 
dismissal of sisters. (Canon 651.) 

497. If there is question of diocesan congregations, the 
Ordinary of the place where the house of the professed sister 
is located, has the right to examine the reasons for dismissal, 
and to issue the decree of dismissal. 

If there is question of solemn professed sisterhoods, the 
local Ordinary shall send all acts and documents to the 
Sacred Congregation, together with his opinion on the case, 
and that of the regular superior also if the monastery is sub 
ject to the regulars. 

If there is question of religious congregations of women 
under papal law, the Mother-General shall refer the matter 
of dismissal to the Sacred Congregation, with all acts and 
documents. The Sacred Congregation will then, in this as 
in the preceding case, decide whatever seems best to it. 


Canon 643, 2, must be observed in case the sister is dis 
missed. (Canon 652.)) 

498. In cases of scandal to the outside world, or of very 
great harm to the religious community, a delinquent reli 
gious can be dismissed at once by the major superior with 
his council, or in case there is danger in the delay and the 
major superior cannot be reached in time, the local superior 
with the consent of his council and of the bishop of the dio 
cese, can dismiss the religious. The matter must, however, 
be submitted without delay to the Holy See, either by the 
bishop or by the major superior, if he is present. (Canon 


The Canonical Trial in the Dismissal of Religious with Per 
petual or Solemn Vows in a Clerical Exempt 
Religious Organization. 

499. A religious man who has taken perpetual or solemn 
vows in a clerical exempt Order or congregation shall not be dis 
missed except by the process of a canonical trial. The exceptions 
of immediate dismissal mentioned in Canons 646, 668 hold good 
also in this case. Otherwise all contrary privileges are revoked. 
(Canon 654.) 

500. The supreme head of the Order, or the Abbot Gen 
eral of a monastic congregation, with their council or Chapter 
of at least four religious, is competent to issue the decree of dis 
missal. If there are not at hand four consultors, the superior 
with the consent of the other consultors shall chose the required 
number of men who will act as judges with the superior. 

The superior shall nominate the promoter of justice with 
the consent of his council according to Canon 1589, 2, which 
prescribes that the promotor must be a priest of the same Order. 
(Canon 655.) 

501. A canonical trial cannot be instituted unless there 
have preceded : 

1. Grave external crimes, either against the common law 
or the law for the religious. 

2. The admonitions. 

3. Failure to amend. (Canon 656.) 

502. The crimes must be at least three in number and of 


the same species, or, if of a different species, such that, taken to 
gether, manifest the perverse will and obstinacy in sin. It may 
also be one continued crime which virtually becomes threefold 
by the admonitions. (Canon 657.) 

503. In order to issue the admonitions it is required that 
the crime is either notorious, or that it is known by extra judicial 
confession, or by sufficient proof furnished by previous investi 

If the crime is neither notorious nor altogether certain, but 
only a rumor and public talk, or it has become known by denun 
ciation, or by complaint for damages, or by the general investi 
gation made by the superior, or any other way, there must be 
first a special investigation instituted in order that it may become 
certain whether the individual has committed the crime, and what 
proof there is for it. (Canon 658.) (Cf. Canon 1939.) 

504. The admonition must be made by the major superior, 
either in person or through another by his command. The com 
mand to issue the admonition should not be given until after due 
investigation by the major superior, according to Canon 658, 1 ; 
but the delegation once given for the first admonition holds good 
also for the second. (Canon 659.) 

505. There must be at least two admonitions, one for each 
of the first two crimes. In crimes which are continued or per 
manent it is required that there is an interval of at least three 
days between the first and second admonition. (Canon 660.) 

506. To the admonitions the superior must add exhorta 
tion and penances and other penal remedies which are judged 
appropriate for amendment and reparation of scandal. 

The superior is, moreover, held to take the guilty religious 
out of the occasions of sin, even by transferring him, if neces 
sary, to another house where he can be better watched and where 
the occasion of relapse is more remote. 

To each of the admonitions must be added the threat of ex 
pulsion. (Canon 661.) 

507. The religious is judged to have failed to amend, when 
after the second admonition he commits a new crime or con 
tinues in the same crime. After the second admonition six days 
at least must elapse before further proceedings can be instituted. 
(Canon 662.) 

508. The immediate major superior, after the admonitions 


and corrections have proved a failure, shall carefully collect the 
acts and documents and send them to the supreme head of the 
Order or congregation. The General shall give the documents 
to the promoter of justice who must examine them and draw his 
conclusion. (Canon 663.) 

509. The promoter of justice has the right to institute 
further investigations if he thinks it proper. If he concludes 
that accusation should be made against the religious, the canoni 
cal process must be instituted according to the rules of the 
Canons in the First Part of the Fourth Book. 

In the process must be proved the commission of the crime, 
the issuing of the admonitions, and the failure of amendment. 
(Canon 664.) 

510. The tribunal, after due consideration of the charges 
of the promoter of justice and the defense of the accused, and of 
the points mentioned in the preceding Canon, 2, shall pro 
nounce the sentence of dismissal. (Canon 665.) 

511. The sentence cannot be executed unless it is con 
firmed by the Sacred Congregation, to which the superior Gen 
eral shall as soon as possible send the sentence and all acts of the 
process. (Canon 666.) 

512. For distant countries the General can, with the con 
sent of his council, also for ordinary cases delegate the power of 
dismissal to trustworthy religious who must be at least three in 
number and who must observe the rules of Canons 663-666. 
(Canon 667.) 

513. In the case mentioned in Canon 653, the religious can 
be dismissed immediately by the major superior, or, if there is 
danger in the delay and the major superior cannot be reached in 
time, by the local superior with his council. The religious must 
not wear the habit after being dismissed. The canonical trial, 
if not yet instituted, must be commenced at once, according to 
the preceding Canons. (Canon 668.) 

Dismissed Religious Who Had Taken Perpetual Vows. 

514. The professed religious of perpetual vows remains 
bound to his vows after the dismissal, unless the constitutions of 


the Order or congregation, or an indult of the Holy See, declare 
the vows dissolved. 

If the dismissed religious is a cleric in minor orders, he is 
by the very dismissal reduced to the state of the laity. (Canon 

515. The cleric in major orders who committed one of the 
crimes enumerated in Canon 646, or who was dismissed on ac 
count of a crime to which the law attaches loss of good reputa 
tion or degradation, is forbidden forever to wear the clerical 
garb. (Canon 670.) 

516. If he was dismissed for any other crime than those 
referred to in the preceding Canon : 

1. He remains ipso facto suspended until he obtains abso 
lution from the Holy See. 

2. The Sacred Congregation may, if it see fit, command 
the dismissed religious to wear the garb of the secular clergy and 
stay in a specified diocese, informing the Ordinary of that dio 
cese of the reasons for which the religious was dismissed. 

3. If the religious does not obey the command spoken of in 
the preceding paragraph, the Order is not responsible for him, 
and he is thereby deprived of the right to wear the clerical garb. 

4. The Ordinary of the diocese assigned for the dismissed 
religious shall send him to a house of penance or commit him to 
the care and vigilance of a pious and prudent priest. If the reli 
gious does not obey, the bishop is not responsible for him and 
the ex-religious forfeits the right to wear the clerical garb. 

5. If the ex-religious obeys the orders of the Sacred Con 
gregation and of the bishop, the Order or congregation to which 
he belonged should through the bishop furnish him with the 
necessary maintenance, unless he has an income from other 
sources to defray his maintenance. 

6. If the dismissed religious does not lead a life worthy of 
a cleric, the Ordinary may after one year of trial, or also sooner, 
deprive him of the maintenance, order him out of the house 
where he was to stay for trial, and deprive him of the right to 
wear the clerical garb. The bishop shall at once send notice of 
this action both to the Sacred Congregation and to the Order or 
congregation from which the cleric was dismissed. 

7. If, however, the dismissed religious behaved so well 
that he can justly be considered amended, the Ordinary should 


endorse Ins petition to the Holy See for ahsohition from the 
uensnre of .sasjicminp, aod when he lag obtained the absofetrai 
aBow him in IBS diocese, with doe precautions and limitations, 
Ac cddbretion of Half Mass, and afeo^ if he sees fit other func- 
fioos of the sacred ministry hy which he may properly support 
himself. After this the Order may dtsrontinne the charitable 
assistance. If he is a deacon or sob-deacon, the matter should 
be referred to the Holy See. (Canon 671.) 

517* Toe dismissed rehgions whose vows, were not dis 
solved oust return to his Older or congregation. If he has for 
thru, years given signs of true T*|ff "^Jiffr^ the Order or congre 
gation is bound to receive him. If there are serious reasons, 
either on the part of die dismissed or on the part of the religious 
otganiiation, why his reception is not desirable, die matter shall 
be subjected to Ac judgment of the Holy See. 

If Ac TOWS were dissolved by the dismissal and the dis 
missed has found a ht&hop witting to receive him* he remains on* 
dcr the jurisdiction and special vigilance of the bishop; otherwise 
die matter shall be referred to die Holy See, The bishop who 
received die dismissed religious " msfl observe Canon 642 in 
reference to the position he gives die dkmfoqffj r4ig*rff^ 
(Canon 67Z) 


Societies of If en or Women Leading a Community Life 

Without Vows. 

518. A society of men or women who lead a community 
fife after die manner of the religious under proper superiors, but 
without die three usual vows of religions life, is not a religions 
rani ty properly so called, nor are its members religious in 

die strict sense of die term. 

Such a society is other clerical or laical, of papal law or 
dJoffsin, according to Canon 489, VOL 3, 4. (Canon 673.) 

519. The erection and suppression of such a society and of 
its provinces and houses follows the rules laid down for die 
rc-.c:. .if :;r..rre-c.i:::r.5 C,-.r.;r. v~~ 

520. The government of each society is regulated by the 
individual constitutions. In all of them, however, Canons 499- 
530 most be observed (Canon 675.) 

521. The society and its provinces, as weQ as the indm- 


dual houses, are capable of acquiring and possessing temporal 

The administration of the goods is regulated by the rules of 
Canons 532-537. 

Whatever the members of the society acquire in considera 
tion of the society, belongs to the society; the other goods they 
retain, acquire and administrate according to their constitutions. 
(Canon 676.) 

522. In the admission of candidates the constitutions of 
the society shall be observed in so far as they are not contrary to 
Canon 542. (Canon 677.) 

523. In the arrangement of studies and the reception of 
orders the members of the society are held to the same laws as 
the secular clergy, saving special regulations which the Holy See 
may have given to some society. (Canon 678.) 

524. The members of a society are held to the common 
obligations of clerics, besides their special regulations contained 
in the constitutions, unless the nature of the law, or the context, 
shows that the law is not intended for members of a society. 
They are also held to the obligations of the religious as outlined 
in Canons 595-612, unless their constitutions rule otherwise. 

They shall observe the enclosure according to their constitu 
tions, under the supervision of the local Ordinary. (Canon 679.) 

525. The members of the society, both clerics and lay 
brothers, enjoy the privileges of clerics as contained in Canons 
119-123, and other concessions given directly to the society. 
They do not have the privileges of religious unless granted them 
by special indult of the Holy See. (Canon 680.) 

526. Besides the proper constitutions of individual societies 
regarding the transition to another society or another religious 
body, and the departure of members of societies either diocesan 
or of papal law, these matters shall with due distinction be regu 
lated by Canons 632-635, 645; in reference to the dismissal of 
members Canons 646-672 are to be observed, (Canon 681,) 



527. The laity has the right to receive from the clergy the 
spiritual benefits and specially the necessary means of salvation, 
according to the rules of ecclesiastical discipline. (Canon 682.) 


528. Laymen are not allowed to wear the clerical garb, 
with the exception of seminarians and other candidates of orders 
to whom Canon 972, 2, refers, and laymen legitimately ap 
pointed to the service of the church while they are, either within 
the church building or outside, engaged in the ministry of the 
church. (Canon 683.) 


General Regulations for Associations of the Faithful. 

529. The faithful deserve praise for joining associations 
erected, or at least recommended, by the Church. They should 
beware of associations that are secret, condemned, seditious, sus 
pected, or those which strive to withdraw from the legitimate 
supervision of the Church. (Canon 684.) 

530. Associations distinct from the religious organizations 
and societies spoken of in Canons 487-681, can be erected by the 
Church either to promote a more perfect Christian life among 
its members, or for the undertaking of works of piety and charity, 
or, finally, for the advancement of the public cult. (Canon 685.) 

531. No society is recognized in the Church unless it has 
been either erected by the competent ecclesiastical authority, or 
at least approved by it. 

To erect and approve societies is the privilege of the Roman 
Pontiff and of the bishop. Some are by papal indult reserved to 

Though it can be proved that a papal privilege was granted 
to some one to erect a certain society, the consent of the bishop, 
given in writing, is nevertheless required for the validity of the 
erection of a society. The consent of the bishop given for the 
erection of a religious house is valid also for the erection, in that 
house or church, of a society annexed to that Order or congrega 
tion, if it is not of the nature of an organic body and is proper 
to the religious community. 

A Vicar General by merely general commission, and a 
Vicar Capitular, cannot erect societies, nor give consent for their 
erection or for aggregation. 

The letters of erection given by persons who in virtue of an 
apostolic indult have the right to erect certain societies must be 
given gratis, excepting only a tax for the necessary expenses. 
(Canon 686.) 


532. The societies do only then acquire the right of a legal 
person in the Church when they have obtained from the compe 
tent ecclesiastical superior the decree of erection. (Canon 687.) 

533. An association should not assume a name or title 
which savors of levity or unbecoming novelty, or gives expres 
sion to a form of devotion not approved of by the Holy See. 
(Canon 688.) 

534. Every society shall have its statutes approved, either 
by the Holy See or by the bishop of the diocese. 

Statutes that have not been confirmed by the Holy See re 
main always subject to modification and correction by the bishop. 
(Canon 689.) 

535. All societies, even those erected by the Holy See, are 
under the jurisdiction and vigilance of the bishop of the diocese, 
unless there is a special privilege of exemption, and the bishop 
has the right and the duty to inspect them. 

Societies, however, that have been erected by the religious in 
their own churches in virtue of an apostolic indult, the bishop has 
no right to visit in regard to internal discipline or spiritual direc 
tion of these societies. (Canon 690.) 

536. A society legitimately erected, may, unless the con 
trary has been expressly ordered, possess and administrate tem 
poral goods under the authority of the bishop of the diocese, to 
whom it should render a financial statement at least once a year. 
This is to be done by the society itself and not by the pastor in 
whose parish the society is erected, unless the bishop has ordered 
the pastor to make such report. 

The society may, according to its statutes, receive alms and 
spend them for the pious purposes of the society and in accord 
ance with the intention of the people who make the offerings. 

No society may collect alms unless either the statutes permit 
it, or necessity require it, and it has the permission of the Ordi 
nary of the diocese whose regulations in this matter must be ob 

If the society wishes to collect alms outside the diocese, the 
permission in writing of the bishop in whose diocese it wishes 
to collect must be obtained. 

The society must give to the bishop in whose diocese it is es 
tablished an exact account of the alms collected, and how they 
were spent. ( Canon 691 .) 


537. In order to participate in the rights, privileges, indul 
gences and other spiritual favors of a society, it is required that a 
person be validly received into the society according to the sta 
tutes proper to the society, and that one has not legally been de 
prived of membership. (Canon 692.) 

538. Non-Catholics, members of a condemned society, per 
sons publicly known to be under ecclesiastical censure, and in 
general any public sinners cannot be validly received into a so 

The same person may be ascribed to several societies, except 
several Third Orders (cf. Canon 705). 

Absent persons cannot be enrolled in a society which is con 
stituted in the form of an organic body, and those present cannot 
be received except with their knowledge and consent. 

Religious may be received into societies, except Third Or 
ders, unless the laws of the society are according to the judgment 
of the superiors incompatible with the observance of the Rule 
and constitutions of the Order or congregation. (Canon 693.) 

539. The reception should be performed according to the 
rules of the common law and the particular statutes of the indi 
vidual societies. 

In order that there may be a record of the reception the 
names should by all means be entered in the roll-book of the so 
ciety and this inscription is required for validity of membership 
if the society is erected as a legal person. (Canon 694.) 

540. On occasion of the reception into a society no pay 
ment should be demanded, either directly or indirectly, except the 
fees which the lawfully approved statutes prescribe, or which the 
Ordinary of the diocese has sanctioned for reason of special cir 
cumstances. (Canon 695.) 

541. No member of a society shall be dismissed from the 
same except for a good reason, and in accordance with the sta 

Members who fall into a case mentioned in Canon 693, 1, 
shall after previous admonition be deprived of membership in the 
manner provided in the statutes of the respective society. Re 
course to the bishop is open to a member who thinks himself un 
justly expelled. 

The bishop shall always have the right to dismiss members 
of any society, even though there is no such provision in the sta- 


tutes, and the religious superior may dismiss members of societies 
that are by virtue of Apostolic indult erected by religious. 
(Canon 696.) 

542. Lawfully erected societies have the right to hold 
meetings, publish regulations for the society itself, elect adminis 
trators of the goods of the society, officers and assistants, in ac 
cordance with the rules of law and their proper statutes. Canon 
715 rules that the bishop s right of jurisdiction over the societies 
and all their proceedings must be respected. (Canon 697.) 

543. Unless an Apostolic indult states the contrary, the 
nomination of the moderator and the chaplain of societies which 
are either erected or approved by the Holy See, and of societies 
erected by religious in virtue of Apostolic indult outside their own 
churches, belongs to the bishop of the diocese. For societies 
erected by religious in their own churches the moderator and 
chaplain are appointed by the religious; if, however, the superior 
should appoint a secular priest for these offices the consent of the 
bishop of the diocese is required. 

The moderator and chaplain have for the time of their office 
the faculty to bless the habit of the society, its insignia, scapu 
lars, etc., and to invest the new members with them. 

The moderator and chaplain can be removed from office for 
good reasons by those who appointed them, or by their superiors 
or their successors in office. 

The same priest can be both moderator and chaplain. 
(Canon 698.) 

544. For serious reason the bishop of the diocese can sup 
press societies which were erected either by himself or by his 
predecessor, and also societies erected by religious in virtue of 
apostolic indult with consent of the Ordinary. Recourse to the 
Holy See is permitted to those concerned. 

Societies erected by the Holy See itself can be suppressed 
only by the Holy See, "(Canon 699.) 

Particular Regulations for Associations of the Faithful. 

545. There are three kinds of Associations or Societies of 
the faithful, namely Third Orders Secular, Confraternities, 
Pious Unions. (Canon 700.) 


546. The order of precedence between the various lay so 
cieties is as follows: (1) Third Orders, (2) Archconfraternities, 
(3) Confraternities, (4) Primary Pious Unions, (5) Pious 

The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament precedes the 
Archconfraternities in processions of the Blessed Sacrament. 

A society has only then the right of precedence when it 
takes part in ecclesiastical functions in a body, under cross or 
banner of their own, and vested with the insignia or the habit of 
the society. ( Canon 70 1 . ) 

Third Orders Secular. 

547. Secular Tertiaries are those persons who in the world 
strive after Christian perfection, under the guidance of, and in 
harmony with, the spirit of some Order, in a manner compatible 
with the life in the world and according to rules approved by the 
Holy See. 

If the Third Order Secular is divided into several societies 
each legitimately established branch is called a Sodality of Ter 
tiaries. (Canon 702.) 

548. No Order or congregation can call into life a Third 
Order. The privileges granted to some Orders to have a Third 
Order are to continue. 

Though an Order has the Apostolic indult to erect the Third 
Order, they cannot validly establish a Sodality of Tertiaries in 
any church without the consent of the bishop of the diocese, 
though they may receive into the Third Order individual per 
sons, according to the law of Canon 686, 3. 

The religious cannot allow the Sodalities of Tertiaries to 
wear the particular garb of that Third Order in public sacred 
functions without a special permission of the bishop. (Canon 

549. Persons who have taken vows, either perpetual or 
temporary, in some religious organization, cannot at the same 
time belong to any Third Order, though they had been received 
into the Third Order before they embraced religious life. 

When such person s vows cease or are dissolved, the former 
membership revives. (Canon 704.) 


550. No Sodality of Tertiaries can without an Apostolic in- 
dult receive Tertiaries of another Third Order, if they intend to 
remain in the former Third Order. Individual Tertiaries may go 
over from one Third Order to another and also from one sodality 
to another of the same Third Order. (Canon 705.) 

551. The Tertiaries may, but are not obliged to, take part 
in a body in public processions, funerals and other ecclesiastical 
functions. If, however, they are present, they must march under 
their own cross, wearing the insignia of their Order. (Canon 


Confraternities and Pious Unions. 

552. Associations of the faithful erected for the exercise 
of some work of piety or charity come under the name of Pious 
Unions ; if these associations are established after the manner of 
an organic body they are called in law Sodalitia. 

Sodalitia which have, morever, for their purpose the fur 
therance of Divine worship are called Confraternities. (Canon 

553. Confraternities can be erected only by a formal decree 
of erection. For the erection of Pious Unions the approval of 
the Ordinary is sufficient, which entitles them to gain spiritual 
favors, especially indulgences. (Canon 708.) 

554. The members of a confraternity cannot take part in a 
body in sacred functions unless they wear the insignia or the 
habit of the confraternity. 

Women can be enrolled in confraternities for the purpose 
only of gaining the indulgences and spiritual favors of the con 
fraternity. (Canon 709.) 

555. The titles of Confraternities and Pious Unions are 
to be taken from the attributes of God, the mysteries of the 
Christian religion, the feasts of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the 
Saints, or the work itself of the society. (Canon 710.) 

556. There should not be several confraternities of the 
same name and institution in the same town, unless the law or 
special regulations allow an exception. In large cities it is left 
to the judgment of the bishop what distance is considered suffi 
cient for the establishment of confraternities of the same kind in 
various churches. 


The Holy See desires that the bishops establish in every 
parish the confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament and of Chris 
tian Doctrine, which, when legally erected by the Ordinary, ipso 
facto obtain affiliation with the archcon fraternities erected at 
Rome by the Cardinal Vicar. (Canon 711.) 

557. Confraternities and Pious Unions should be erected 
only in churches, public and semi-public oratories. 

They should not be established in the cathedral and in colle 
giate churches without the consent of the Chapter. 

In churches and oratories of religious women the bishop can 
allow only the erection of societies of women, or of Pious Unions, 
who only meet for the recitation of certain prayers and have 
merely communication of spiritual favors with some confrater 
nity. (Canon 712.) 

558. The religious can give to the Confraternities and 
Pious Unions erected by them those indulgences which the Holy 
See has declared communicable, and they should at the time of 
the erection of the confraternity be made known to all members. 

They cannot allow the confraternity to wear in public sacred 
functions the habit or other insignia without special permission 
of the bishop. (Canon 713.) 

559. The confraternities shall not change, nor abandon, the 
habit or insignia proper to the confraternity without permission 
of the bishop. (Canon 714.) 

560. The bishop has the right to preside at the meetings of 
confraternities, even in the churches and oratories of regulars, 
and though he has no vote in the election of the officers he has 
the right either in person or through a delegate to watch over the 
election, confirm or reject the officers elected, and unless the sta 
tutes are approved by the Holy See he can correct and change 

If the confraternities wish to hold extraordinary meetings 
they shall advise the Ordinary or his delegate in due time, other 
wise the bishop has the right to stop the meeting and cancel their 
proceedings. (Canon 715.) 

561. The Confraternities and Pious Unions which have 
been erected in churches of their own, have the right, with due 
observance of the law, to have non-parochial functions indepen 
dently of the pastor, provided they do not injure the parochial 
ministry in the parish church. The bishop has the right to decide 


whether or not the functions of the confraternity unduly inter 
fere with the services in the parish church. (Canon 716.) 

562. The goods and belongings of a Confraternity or 
Pious Union established in a parish church or any other not be 
longing to the confraternity itself, must be kept separate from 
the accounts of the parish. (Canon 717.) 


Archconfraternities and Primary Unions. 

563. Societies which possess the right to affiliate to them 
selves other associations of the same kind, are called Archconfra 
ternities, or Primary Unions, Congregations, Societies. (Canon 

564. No association can without Apostolic indult affiliate 
other societies. 

Archconfraternities and Primary Unions can affiliate only 
such Confraternities and Pious Unions which have the same title 
and the same purpose, unless the papal indult grants greater 
powers. (Canon 721.) 

565. By the affiliation are communicated all indulgences, 
privileges and other communicable spiritual favors which have 
been granted to the affiliating body directly and by name, or shall 
in future be granted in that manner by the Holy See, unless a re 
striction is made in the papal indult. 

The affiliating body does not acquire any right over the 
other confraternity by the act of affiliation. (Canon 722.) 

566. For the validity of the affiliation the following is re 
quired : 

1. the association must have been already canonically 
erected and not been affiliated before to any other Archconfra- 
ternity or Primary Union ; 

2. the affiliation must be done with the written consent of 
the bishop of the diocese together with his testimonial letters; 

3. the indulgences, privileges and other spiritual favors 
which are communicated by the affiliation must be enumerated 
in an elenchus which is to be inspected by the bishop of the dio 
cese where the archcon fraternity resides and be given to the 
affiliated society; 


4. the affiliation is to be given in the prescribed formula 
and for all times ; 

5. the letters of affiliation must be issued absolutely gratis 
without any retribution even in the form of alms, except the 
necessary expenses. (Canon 723.) 

567. The Archconfraternity or Primary Union cannot be 
transferred from its residence to another place except by the 
Holy See. (Canon 724.) 

568. The title of Archsodality or Archconfraternity or 
Primary Union cannot be given, even as an honorary title, to 
any society by another than the Holy See. (Canon 725.) 


Sacred Things 

569. The things spoken of in this book are so many means 
for obtaining the purpose of the Church; some of these are 
spiritual, others are temporal, others mixed. (Canon 726.) 

570. The intentional will to buy, or sell, for a temporal 
price things intrinsically spiritual, e. g., the Sacraments, eccles 
iastical jurisdiction, consecration, indulgences, etc., or a temporal 
object annexed to the spiritual in such a way that the temporal 
object cannot exist without the spiritual, e. g., an ecclesias 
tical benefice, or when the spiritual good is the object even 
though only partially of the contract, e. g. the consecration in 
the sale of a consecrated chalice, is Simony forbidden by the 
Divine law. 

Again, to give temporal objects annexed to the spiritual 
for other temporal objects annexed to the spiritual, or spiritual 
objects for spiritual, or temporal for temporal, in cases where 
the Church forbids this for the sake of reverence toward spir 
itual objects, constitutes Simony by ecclesiastical law. (Canon 

571. When there is question of simony, the buying and 
selling, exchange, etc., is to be taken in a wide sense for any 
agreement, even though it did not take effect, and even though 
the agreement was merely tacit, namely, such in which the 
simoniacal intention was not expressly manifested, but can be 
understood from the circumstances. (Canon 728.) 

572. While the penalties of law remain, the simoniacal 
contract is null and void if simony is committed concerning bene 
fices, offices, dignities, the subsequent conferment is likewise void, 
even though the simony was committed by a third person and 
without one s knowledge, provided it was not done fraudulently 
to injure the one who was to get the office or done against his 

Wherefore, (1) before any sentence of the judge the valu 
ables given and accepted simoniacally must be returned, if such 
restitution is possible and can be done without irreverence to the 



spiritual, and the benefice, office or dignity must be vacated; (2) 
the one who through simony obtained the benefice or office does 
not become the owner of the income of that office; if he re 
ceived it in good faith it is left to the prudent judgment of the 
ecclesiastical judge, or the Ordinary, to condone the income thus 
received, either in whole or in part. (Canon 729.) 

573. There is no simony when the temporal object is not 
given for the spiritual, but rather on occasion of it, by a just 
title acknowledged by law or legal custom. The same holds good 
when the temporal object is given for another temporal object 
which has something spiritual annexed to it, as for instance, the 
consecrated chalice, provided the price is not raised on account 
of the blessing or consecration, (Canon 730.) 



574. As all the Sacraments instituted by our Lord are the 
principal means of sanctifkation and salvation, they should be 
administered and received with great care and reverence. 

It is forbidden to minister the Sacraments of the Church 
to heretics and schismatics, even though they are in good faith 
and ask for them, unless they have first renounced their errors 
and been reconciled to the Church. (Canon 731.) 

575. The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Or 
ders which imprint a character cannot be received a second time. 

If, however, there is prudent doubt whether they have been 
received, or whether they were validly received, they may be 
conditionally repeated. (Canon 732.) 

576. In the administration and reception of the Sacra 
ments the liturgical rites and ceremonies prescribed in the ap 
proved ritualistic books of the Church must be accurately ob 

Each one shall follow his own Rite, saving the exceptions 
of Canons 851, 2, and 866. (Canon 733.) 

577. The holy oils required in the administration of sev 
eral of the Sacraments, must have been blessed by the bishop 
on the preceding Holy Thursday, nor are the old ones to be 
used except in case of necessity. When the holy oils are about 
to give out, other olive oil that has not been blessed may be 


added, even repeatedly, but always in smaller quantity than the 
holy oils. (Canon 734.) 

578. The pastor must obtain the holy oils from his bishop 
and keep them in the church in a safe and becoming place under 
lock and key. He shall not keep them in his house except where 
necessity or other good reason approved by the Ordinary justify 
him to do so. (Canon 735.) 

579. In the administration of the Sacraments the minis 
ter shall not exact or ask for any remuneration, for any reason 
or occasion, directly or indirectly, except the offerings spoken 
of in Canon 1507, 1. (Canon 736.) 



580. Baptism, which is the door and foundation for all 
other Sacraments, and which, either actually received or at least 
desired, is necessary for salvation to all, is given validly only 
by ablution with truly natural water and pronouncing the pre 
scribed form of words. 

Baptism administered with the observance of all the rites 
and ceremonies prescribed in the liturgical books, is called 
solemn, otherwise not solemn, or private. (Canon 737.) 


The Minister of Baptism. 

581. The ordinary minister of solemn Baptism is the 
priest. Its ministration, however, is reserved to the pastor or 
to another priest acting with the permission of the pastor or of 
the local Ordinary, which permission is lawfully presumed in a 
case of necessity. 

Even a pcregrinus, i. e. a person who is at the time outside 
the parish where he resides, should go to his own proper pas 
tor to be baptized solemnly, if this can be easily done and with 
out delay; otherwise any pastor may in his territory solemnly 
baptize the peregrini. (Canon 738.) 

582. In the territory of another pastor no pastor is al 
lowed to baptize solemnly, not even one of his own parishioners, 
without due permission. (Canon 739.) 


583. Where parishes or quasi-parishes are not yet estab 
lished, the diocesan statutes and accepted customs should be 
consulted in order to know what priest, besides the Ordinary, 
has the right to baptize, either in the entire territory or in some 
particular district. (Canon 740.) 

584. The deacon is the extraordinary minister of solemn 
Baptism. He cannot, however, use his power without the per 
mission of either the bishop or the pastor, which may be granted 
for a just cause and may lawfully be presumed when necessity 
urges. (Canon 741.) 

585. Private Baptism may be given by any one who uses 
the proper matter and form and has the right intention. As far 
as possible two witnesses, or at least one, should be present at 
such a private Baptism, by whom the conferring of Baptism 
may be proved, (cf. Canon 759.) 

If a priest is present he should be preferred to a deacon, a 
deacon to a subdeacon, a cleric to a lay person, a man to a 
woman, unless decency demand that the woman be preferred, 
or in case the woman knows better the form and manner of 

The father and mother are not allowed to baptize their own 
child except in danger of death if there is no one else at hand 
who can baptize. (Canon 742.) 

586. The pastor should take care that the faithful, espe 
cially midwives, doctors and surgeons, learn how to baptize 
properly in case of necessity. (Canon 743.) 

587. The Baptism of adults, where it can be conveniently 
done, should be referred to the bishop, in order that he himself 
or his delegate may baptize more solemnly. (Canon 744.) 

The Subject of Baptism. 

588. A subject capable to receive Baptism is omnis et solus 
homo viator, i. e. a human being born into this life, who has not 
yet been baptized. 

When there is question of Baptism, the term parvulus, or 
infans, means, according to Canon 88, 3, one who has not yet 
the use of discretion, and held equal to them are those insane 
from infancy, no matter of what age they may be, Adults are 


called those who have the use of reason, and it is sufficient for 
admitting these latter to Baptism that they of their own free 
will ask for it. (Canon 745.) 

589. An infant shall not be baptized while still enclosed 
in the mother s womb, as long as there is probable hope that it 
can be baptized when born. 

If the infant puts forth the head, it may be baptized on the 
head, if there is immediate danger of death, and Baptism shall 
not then be given again conditionally if the child lives. 

If the infant puts forth any other limb, it may be baptized 
on that limb conditionally, if there is imminent danger to life, 
but if the infant is born alive it must be baptized again condi 

If the mother dies in pregnancy, and the fetus, when ex 
tracted by those whose duty it is to do this, shows sure signs 
of life, it shall be baptized absolutely; conditionally, if life is 

If the fetus was baptized in the mother s womb, the child 
shall, when born, be baptized again conditionally. (Canon 746.) 

590. Care should be taken that every fetus born pre 
maturely, no matter at what stage of pregnancy, be baptized 
absolutely, if life is certain, but conditionally if life is doubtful. 
(Canon 747.) 

591. Monstrous and unusual forms of fetus should always 
be baptized, at least conditionally; when in doubt whether the 
fetus is one being or several, one should be baptized absolutely, 
the others conditionally. (Canon 748.) 

592. Infants that have been abandoned and found shall 
be conditionally baptized, if after careful investigation there is 
no certainty about their Baptism. (Canon 749.) 

593. An infant of infidel parents can lawfully be baptized 
even though the parents object, in case the danger of death is 
such that it may be prudently judged the child will not live until 
he comes to the use of reason. 

Outside danger of death the infant may be licitly baptized, 
provided there is guarantee for the Catholic bringing up of the 
child, (1) if the parents or guardians, or at least one of them, 
consent, (2) if there are no parents, i. e. father or mother, nor 
grandfather or grandmother, nor guardians, or if they have lost 
the right to the child, or cannot in any way exercise that right. 
(Canon 750.) 


594. Regarding the child of two Protestants or schis 
matics, or two fallen-away Catholics, the rules of the above 
Canon shall generally be followed. (Canon 751.) 

595. An adult should not be baptized except with his own 
knowledge and will, and after due instruction. He is, moreover, 
to be admonished to repent of his sins. 

In danger of death, if he cannot be thoroughly instructed 
in the principal mysteries of faith, it is sufficient for the con 
ferring of Baptism that he show in some way his assent to these 
points of faith, and earnestly promises that he will keep the 
Commandments of the Christian religion. 

If he cannot even ask for Baptism, but has either before, 
or in his present condition manifested in some probable manner 
an intention of receiving Baptism, he may be baptized condi 
tionally. If afterwards he gets well, and there remains doubt 
as to the validity of the Baptism, he may be baptized again con 
ditionally. (Canon 752.) 

596. Both, the priest as well as the adult to be baptized, 
if he is in good health, are advised to remain fasting. 

Unless there are grave and urgent obstacles, the baptized 
adult should immediately after Baptism assist at Holy Mass and 
receive Holy Communion. (Canon 753.) 

597. Insane and delirious persons should not be baptized 
unless they have been such from birth, or became such before 
they had obtained the use of reason, in which case they should 
be baptized like infants. 

If they have lucid intervals, they may in those moments be 
baptized if they desire it. 

They may also be baptized in imminent danger of death, if 
before becoming insane they have shown a desire for Baptism. 

Those suffering from lethargy or delirium should be bap 
tized only while conscious and desirous of Baptism; if the dan 
ger of death is imminent, the rule of the foregoing paragraph 
of this Canon is to be followed, (Canon 754.) 

The Rites and Ceremonies of Baptism. 

598. Baptism should be given solemnly, except in the cases 
spoken of in Canon 759. The local Ordinary can for a grave 


and reasonable cause allow the ceremonies for the Baptism of 
infants to be used for the Baptism of adults. (Canon 755.) 

599. The child must be baptized according to the Rite of 
the parents. If one of them belongs to the Latin Rite, the other 
to an Oriental, the child shall be baptized in the Rite of the fa 
ther, unless other rules have been made by special law. If only 
one of the parents is a Catholic, the child shall be baptized in 
the Rite of the Catholic party. (Canon 756.) 

600. In solemn Baptism water blessed for that purpose 
shall be used. If the water in the baptismal font be so dimin 
ished that it does not suffice, other common water may be added 
in smaller quantity, and this may be repeated. If the blessed 
water has become putrid, or has escaped from the font, or is 
wanting for any other reason, the pastor should have the font 
well cleaned, then put in fresh water and bless it as prescribed 
in the ritual. (Canon 757.) 

601. Though Baptism may be conferred validly in any 
of the three ways : infusion, immersion, aspersion, the first or 
second, or both mixed, whichever is more in use, should be re 
tained, according to the approved rituals of the various dioceses. 
(Canon 758.) 

602. In danger of death private Baptism may be given. 
If it is administered by one who is neither a priest nor a deacon, 
only that should be done which is necessary for the validity of 
the Baptism. If a priest or a deacon baptizes, and there is time, 
he should perform the ceremonies that follow Baptism. 

Outside the case of danger of death, the Ordinary cannot 
allow private Baptism, except in cases of adult converts from 
heresy who are baptized conditionally. 

The ceremonies of Baptism, which for any reason had been 
omitted in the conferring of Baptism, should as soon as possible 
be supplied, except in the case mentioned in the preceding para 
graph. (Canon 759.) 

603. If Baptism is given again conditionally, the ceremo 
nies should be supplied if they were omitted in the first Baptism, 
saving the exception of the foregoing Canon. If the ceremonies 
were observed in the first Baptism, one is at liberty to go through 
them again or not. (Canon 760.) 

604. The pastor shall take care that the one baptized re 
ceives a Christian name; if they do not succeed in this they should 


add to the name given by the parents the name of some saint, 
and enter both names in the baptismal record. (Canon 761.) 



605. According to a most ancient custom, no one is bap 
tized solemnly unless he has, whenever possible, a sponsor. Even 
in private Baptism a sponsor should be had, if it is easily pos 
sible; if there was no sponsor in the private Baptism, there 
should be one in the supplying of the ceremonies, but in that 
case he does not contract any spiritual relationship. (Canon 

606. When Baptism is repeated conditionally, the same 
sponsor should, if possible, act who was present at the first Bap 
tism; outside this case, there is no need of a sponsor in condi 
tional Baptism. 

In the repetition of Baptism under condition, neither the 
sponsor of the first, nor the one at the second Baptism contract 
spiritual relationship, unless the same sponsor was present at 
both Baptisms. (Canon 763.) 

607. There should be but one sponsor, who may be either 
of the same sex with the one to be baptized, or of the different 
sex ; but two sponsors, at most, namely, one man and one woman, 
are allowed. (Canon 764.) 

608. In order that one may validly act as sponsor, he 

1. be baptized, of the age of discretion, and have the in 
tention to undertake that office; 

2. he must not belong to an heretical or schismatical sect, 
not be excommunicated by a condemnatory or declaratory sen 
tence, nor suffer from infamy of law, nor be excluded from 
legal actions, nor be a deposed or degraded cleric ; 

3. he must not be the father or mother of, or married to, 
the one to be baptized; 

4. he must be designated either by the one to be baptized 
or by the parents or guardians, or in their default, by the minis 
ter of Baptism; 

5. The sponsor must, either in person or through proxy, 
physically hold or touch the one baptized, or receive him im- 


mediately after Baptism from the sacred font or from the hands 
of the minister. (Canon 765.) 

609. In order that one may licitly act as sponsor, he must : 

1. be fourteen years of age, unless for a just reason the 
minister admits younger ones ; 

2. he must not be under excommunication for a notorious 
crime, nor excluded from legal actions, nor suffer from infamy 
of law, even though no sentence was pronounced against him 
in the ecclesiastical court, nor must he be under an interdict, or 
otherwise a public criminal, or disgraced by infamy of fact; 

3. he must know the rudiments of the faith; 

4. he must not be a novice or professed member in any 
religious organization, unless there is no other to act as sponsor 
and permission is granted by at least the local superior ; 

5. he must not be in sacred orders, unless he has the ex 
press permission of his own Ordinary to act as sponsor. (Canon 

610. In doubtful cases as to whether one can validly or 
licitly be admitted as sponsor, the pastor should, if time per 
mits, consult the Ordinary. (Canon 767.) 

611. In Baptism spiritual relationship is contracted with 
the one baptized by the minister and the sponsor. (Canon 768.) 
In this, therefore, the law of the Council of Trent has been 
greatly restricted, so that no impediment is contracted with the 

612. It is the duty of the sponsor, by virtue of his office, 
to take an interest in his spiritual child, and to take good care 
that he is instructed in the duties of a Christian life and that 
he lives up to it, as in the ceremony he solemnly pledged himself 
for this, (Canon 769.) 

Time and Place of Baptism. 

613. Infants should be baptized as soon as possible. Pas 
tors and preachers should often remind the faithful of this grave 
obligation. (Canon 770.) 

614. Private Baptism may, in case of necessity, be given 
at any time and in any place. (Canon 771.) 

615. Solemn Baptism may be given any day. It is most 


proper, however, according to the most ancient rite of the 
Church, to baptize adults on the vigils of Easter and Pentecost, 
especially in metropolitan and cathedral churches, if this can 
be done conveniently. (Canon 772.) 

616. The proper place for solemn Baptism is the baptistry 
in churches and public oratories. (Canon 773.) 

617. Every parish church shall have a baptismal font; all 
contrary statutes, privileges and customs are disapproved and 
rescinded. If other churches have acquired the right to have 
baptismal fonts, such rights may continue. 

The bishop can for the convenience of the people allow or 
demand that baptismal fonts be placed also in other churches 
and public oratories within the limits of the parish. (Canon 

618. If the child cannot be brought to the parish church, 
nor to any other having the right to baptize, on account of dis 
tance or any other circumstances attended by great inconvenience 
or danger, the solemn baptism can and must be given by the 
pastor in the nearest church or public oratory within the parish, 
even though there be no baptismal font. (Canon 775.) 

619. In private houses solemn Baptism cannot be given 
except under the following conditions: 

1. if those to be baptized are the sons or nephews of the 
highest ruler of a country, or have the right of succession to 
the throne, if they lawfully ask to be so baptized; 

2. if the local Ordinary with prudent and conscientious 
judgment should allow it when in some extraordinary case there 
are good reasons to have the Baptism in the private house ; 

3. in these cases Baptism must be given in the private 
chapel of the house, or at least in a decent place, and baptismal 
water is to be used, (Canon 776,) 


Recording and Proof of Baptism. 

620. The pastor should, carefully and without delay, enter 
into the records the name of the one baptized, the minister, par 
ents and sponsors, date and place. 

In the Baptism of illegitimate children the name of the 
mother is to be entered, if her motherhood is publicly known, 


or if she of her own accord demands this either in writing or 
before two witnesses. Also the name of the father, provided 
he himself demands it either in writing or before two witnesses, 
or if he be known from some public document. In all other cases 
the child should be entered as one whose father or parents are 
unknown. (Canon 777.) 

621. If Baptism was not given by the pastor, nor in his 
presence, the minister shall as soon as possible inform the pastor 
of the domicile of the one baptized. (Canon 778.) 

622. For the proof of Baptism, where no third party is 
harmed, one witness who is absolutely trustworthy, or the oath 
of the one baptized in adult age, is sufficient. (Canon 779.) 



623. The Sacrament of Confirmation must be conferred 
by imposition of hands, with the anointing of the forehead with 
holy chrism and the words prescribed in the pontifical books ap 
proved by the Church. (Canon 780.) 

624. The chrism to be used in the Sacrament of Confirma 
tion must be blessed by the bishop, even when a priest, either 
by law or special indult, confers this Sacrament. 

The anointing should not be done with any instrument, but 
with the hand of the bishop, properly imposed on the head of 
the one confirmed. ( Canon 78 1 . ) 

The Minister of Confirmation. 

625. The ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop 

The extraordinary minister is a priest who either by com 
mon law or by special indult of the Holy See has received the 
faculty to confirm. 

This faculty have by law the Cardinals, abbots and prelates 
nullius, vicars and prefects apostolic, who cannot validly make 
use of the faculty except within the limits of their territory, and 
for the time of their term of office only. In reference to 
Cardinals, Cf. No. 161, 23. 


The priest of the Latin Rite who has this power by virtue 
of an indult can validly confer Confirmation on Catholics of his 
Rite only, unless the indult expressly allows more. 

It is not lawful to priests of the Oriental Rite who have the 
faculty or the privilege to give Confirmation together with Bap 
tism to the infants of their Rite, to confirm infants of the Latin 
Rite. (Canon 782.) 

626. The bishop can within his diocese lawfully confirm 
also strangers, unless there is an explicit prohibition of their 
bishop to go outside the diocese for Confirmation. 

In the diocese of another bishop, a bishop must have at 
least the presumed permission of the local Ordinary, except 
when he confirms his own subjects privately and without crozier 
and mitre. (Canon 783.) 

627. The priest who has a local Apostolic privilege to con 
firm, may also confirm strangers in the territory of his jurisdic 
tion, unless the Ordinaries of these strangers have explicitly 
forbidden their people to receive Confirmation outside the dio 
cese. (Canon 784.) 

628. The bishop is obliged to administer Confirmation to 
his subjects who lawfully and reasonably ask for it, especially 
at the time of his visitation of the diocese. 

The same obligation rests with the priest who, by Apostolic 
privilege has the right to confirm in regard to those in whose 
favor this faculty was given him. 

The Ordinary who is lawfully prevented, or who has no 
faculty to confirm, must see to it that at least every five years 
this Sacrament is administered among his subjects. 

If he gravely neglects to administer this Sacrament, either 
himself or through another, the archbishop shall report the mat 
ter to the Holy See, (Canon 785.) 


The Subject of Confirmation. 

629. He who is not baptized cannot validly be confirmed. 
In order that one may receive Confirmation licitly and with 
fruit, he must be in the state of grace, and, if he has the use 
of reason, he must be sufficiently instructed. ( Canon 786. ) 

630. Although this Sacrament is not an absolutely neces- 


sary means of salvation, no one is allowed to neglect to receive 
it when occasion offers. The pastors must see to it that the faith 
ful receive Confirmation in proper time. (Canon 787.) 

631. In the Latin Church Confirmation is usually deferred 
until about the seventh year of age. Nevertheless, it may be 
conferred before this, if the infant is in danger of death, or if 
the minister in any other case thinks it expedient for good and 
weighty reasons. (Canon 788.) 

632. If there are several to be confirmed, they should be 
present at the first imposition or extension of hands, and they 
must not leave until the rite is completed. (Canon 789.) 

Time and Place of Confirmation. 

633. This Sacrament can be administered any time; it is 
most befitting to administer it during the week of Pentecost. 
(Canon 790.) 

634. The proper place for Confirmation is a church, never 
theless, if the minister has any just and reasonable cause he 
may confirm in any becoming place. (Canon 791.) 

635. The bishop has the right to administer Confirmation 
within the limits of his diocese in any, even exempted places. 
(Canon 792.) 


The Sponsors. 

636. By a most ancient custom the Church requires a spon 
sor at Confirmation, if one can be had. (Canon 793.) 

637. The sponsor should not stand for more than two, 
except the minister for a just reason allow him to stand for more. 
No candidate for Confirmation should have more than one 
sponsor. (Canon 794.) 

638. In order that one may validly act as sponsor, he must : 

1. be confirmed himself, have the use of reason and the 
intention to act as sponsor; 

2. not belong to an heretical or schismatic sect, nor be 
under any of the penalties spoken of in Canon 765, n. 2, by a 
declaratory or condemnatory sentence; 

3. not be the father, mother of, or married to, the one 


4. be designated by the one to be confirmed, or by his 
parents, guardians, or in their default or refusal to designate 
a sponsor, the minister or the pastor may designate him. 

5. physically touch either in person or through a proxy 
the one confirmed in the very act of Confirmation. (Canon 

639. The requirements for licit sponsorship are : 

1. he should not be the sponsor of Baptism, unless there 
is a good reason which is left to the judgment of the minister 
of Confirmation, or unless Confirmation is given immediately 
after Baptism; 

2. he should be of the same sex as the one confirmed, 
unless the minister allows an exception in particular cases and 
for good reasons; 

3. he must have the other requisites mentioned for Bap 
tism in Canon 766. (Canon 796.) 

640. Spiritual relationship arises in valid Confirmation 
between the one confirmed and the sponsor, and the sponsor is 
held by his office to interest himself in the spiritual welfare of 
the one confirmed and care for his Christian education. (Canon 


Record and Proof of Confirmation. 

641. In the Confirmation record there should be entered 
the names of the minister, parents, sponsors, and the date and 
place, besides making note of it in the baptismal record, as de 
manded in Canon 470, 2. 

642. If the proper pastor of the one confirmed was not 
present, the minister of Confirmation should either himself or 
through another send the report to the pastor. ( Canon 799. ) 

643. For proof of the Confirmation, when no one else s 
right is at stake, it is sufficient to have one witness who is alto 
gether trustworthy, or the sworn statement of the one confirmed, 
unless Confirmation was given in infancy. (Canon 800,) 

The Blessed Eucharist. 

644. In the Blessed Eucharist Christ, the Lord, is Him 
self contained, offered, and received under the species of bread 
and wine. (Canon 801.) 



The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 
Article I. The Celebrant. 

645. Priests only have the power to offer the sacrifice of 
Holy Mass. ( Canon 802. ) 

646. It is forbidden that several priests concelebrate, ex 
cept in the Mass of ordination of priests, and in the Mass of con 
secration of bishops, according to the Pontificate Romanum. 
(Canon 803.) 

647. A priest who wishes to celebrate in a church outside 
his own, must exhibit authentic and still valid letters of his 
Ordinary, if he is a secular; or if he is a religious, of his superior ; 
or, if he belongs to an Oriental Rite, of the Sacred Congregation 
for the Oriental Church, in order that he may be admitted to 
say Holy Mass, unless it be known that in the meantime he has 
committed some act for which he should not be admitted to say 

If he has no such letters, but his good character is known 
to the rector of the church, he may admit him; if, however, he 
is unknown to him, he may still be admitted once or twice, pro 
vided he wears priestly attire, does not get any remuneration 
under any title from the church in which he says Holy Mass, 
and signs his name, office and diocese in a book specially to be 
kept for that purpose. 

The special regulations of the bishop concerning this mat 
ter, saving the rules of this Canon, must be observed by all, even 
exempt religious, unless there is question of admitting to cele 
bration of Holy Mass religious priests in churches of their own 
Order. (Canon 804.) 

648. Every priest is obliged to say Holy Mass several 
times a year. The bishop, or the religious superior, shall see 
to it that the priest celebrate at least on all Sundays and holi 
days of obligation. (Canon 805.) 

649. The priest is not allowed to say Holy Mass more 
than once a day, except by papal indult or by permission of the 
local Ordinary. On Christmas and on All Souls* day permis 
sion is given to say three Holy Masses. 

The Ordinary cannot grant the permission to binate unless 
pn holidays of obligation a considerable part of the faithful 


would have to miss Holy Mass on account of the scarcity of 
priests. It is not in his power, however, to allow a priest to 
say more than two Holy Masses in one day. (Canon 806.) 

650. The priest who should find himself in mortal sin 
shall not dare to say Holy Mass without previous sacramental 
confession, no matter how contrite he may be over his sins. If 
he has no chance to go to confession and urgent need obliges 
him to celebrate, he shall make an act of perfect contrition be 
fore saying Holy Mass, and shall be obliged to confess as soon 
as possible. (Canon 807.) This regulation is the same as the 
Council of Trent had it. 

651. The priest is not allowed to celebrate unless he has 
observed the natural fast from midnight. (Canon 808.) 

652. The priest is free to apply Holy Mass for any living 
person, and also for the poor souls in purgatory, provided he 
observes the rules of Canon 2262, 2, n. 2. This Canon allows 
Holy Mass to be privately applied, if scandal is avoided, for an 
excommunicated person, but when it is an cxcommunicatus 
vitandus Holy Mass can be said only for his conversion and not 
for any other intentions for which he may ask to have Holy 
Mass applied. (Canon 809.) 

653. The priest should not omit to prepare his soul by 
pious prayer for the oblation of the eucharistic sacrifice, and 
upon its conclusion give thanks to God for such a great benefit. 
(Canon 810.) 

654. The priest about to say Holy Mass should wear the 
cassock and the sacred vestments prescribed by the rubrics of 
his Rite. 

He must not wear cap and ring, unless he be a Cardinal, 
bishop or an abbot who has received the abbatial blessing, or 
has received an Apostolic indult which allows him their use in 
the celebration of Holy Mass. (Canon 811.) 

655. No priest, except the bishop and other prelates hav 
ing the use of the pontificals, is allowed to have an assistant 
priest for the sole reason of honor and solemnity. (Canon 812.) 

656. The priest should not say Holy Mass unless he has 
a server who serves and answers him. 

The server at Mass should not be a woman, unless no man 
can be had, and provided the woman stays at a distance to an- 


swer the prayers and does not in any way approach the altar. 
(Canon 813.) 

Article II. The Rites and Ceremonies of Holy Mass. 

657. The holy Sacrifice of the Mass must be offered up in 
bread and in wine which is to be mixed with a little water. 
(Canon 8 14.) 

658. The bread must be purely of wheat flour and recently 
made, so that there is no danger of corruption. 

The wine must be the natural juice of the grape vine and 
uncorruptecl. (Canon 815.) 

659. In the celebration of Holy Mass the priest must, ac 
cording to his own Rite use either unleavened or fermented 
bread, wherever he celebrates. (Canon 816.) 

660. It is forbidden, even in extreme cases of necessity, 
to consecrate one species without the other, or both outside of 
Holy Mass. (Canon 817.) 

661. The celebrant must accurately and devoutly observe 
the rubrics of his liturgical books, and guard against adding 
other ceremonies and prayers of his own choice. All contrary 
custom is disapproved. (Canon 818.) 

662. Holy Mass must be celebrated in the liturgical lan 
guage proper to each one s Rite, as approved by the Church. 
(Canon 819.) 

Article III. Time and Place of Holy Mass. 

663. Holy Mass may be said on all days except those 
w r hich are excluded by the priest s own Rite. (Canon 820.) 

664. Holy Mass should not be commenced earlier than 
one hour before the aurora, nor later than one hour after mid 

On Christmas day only the conventual or parochial Mass 
can be begun at midnight, but no other Mass without an Apos 
tolic indult. 

In all religious or pious houses having an oratory with the 
right of keeping there habitually the Blessed Sacrament, one 
priest may at midnight say one or also three Masses, and this 
Holy Mass will for all who assist satisfy the obligation of hear 
ing Mass, and Holy Communion may be given to those who wish 
to receive. (Canon 82 1.} 


665. Holy Mass must be celebrated on a consecrated altar, 
and in a church or oratory consecrated or blessed according to 
law. Regarding private and semi-public oratories, Canon 1196 
is to be observed. 

The privilege of the portable altar is conceded either by 
law or by indult of no other .than the Holy See. 

This privilege is to be understood in such a sense, that it 
bestows the faculty to say Holy Mass anywhere in a decent and 
respectable place, and on a consecrated altar stone, not, how 
ever, on the ocean. 

The local Ordinary, or when there is question of an exempt 
religious house, the major superior, can give permission for a 
just and reasonable cause to celebrate Holy Mass outside the 
church or oratory on a consecrated altar stone, in a decent place, 
but never in a bedroom. This permission can be given in an 
extraordinary case and only per modum actus, i. e. not per 
petually. (Canon 822.) 

666. Holy Mass may not be said in churches of heretics 
and schismatics, even though they were in ancient times properly 
consecrated or blessed. 

If there is no altar of the priest s own Rite, he may cele 
brate on an altar consecrated by another Catholic Rite, follow 
ing his own Rite in the celebration of Holy Mass. He may not 
celebrate with the Greek antimcnsia, a kind of corporal in which 
relics are deposited. 

On papal altars no one is allowed to celebrate without an 
Apostolic indult. (Canon 823.) 

Article IV. The Alms or Stipends of Masses. 

667. According to an established and approved custom of 
the Church, any priest who says and applies Holy Mass may 
receive an alms or stipend. 

Whenever he says Holy Mass several times a day, and has 
to apply one Mass from a title of justice, he cannot receive an 
other stipend, excepting some compensation from an extrinsic 
title. On Christmas, however, he may receive a stipend also 
for the second and third Mass. (Canon 824.) 

668. It is never lawful : 

1. to apply Holy Mass for the intention of one who may 
offer a stipend in the future, but who has not yet asked for the 


Mass, and then to accept the stipend afterwards given for the 
Mass said before; 

2. to accept a stipend for a Mass that was due and ap 
plied from another title ; 

3. to receive two stipends for the application of one Mass; 

4. to receive one stipend for only the celebration, and 
another for the application of one and the same Mass, unless 
it is certain that one stipend was offered for the celebration 
without the application. (Canon 825.) 

669. Manual stipends are called those which the faithful 
offer out of their own devotion, or from some obligation, even 
a perpetual one imposed on heirs by the testator. 

Ad instar manualiuM, are called the stipends of foundation 
Masses which cannot be applied in the proper church, or not 
by those who, according to the laws of those foundation Masses, 
should say them, and which may either by law or by papal indult 
be given to other priests to say. 

Other stipends, received from a fund set apart for founda 
tion Masses, are called stipendia fundata, or, Missae fundatae. 
(Canon 826.) 

670. Any kind of negotiation or trading with Mass sti 
pends must absolutely be avoided. (Canon 827.) 

671. So many Masses must be said and applied as Mass 
stipends, even small ones, were offered and accepted. (Canon 

672. Though the Mass stipends should have been lost 
without the fault of the one who has the responsibility to say 
the Masses, the obligation does not cease. (Canon 829.) 

673. If a person has offered a certain sum of money for 
Holy Masses to be said, without indicating how many Masses 
he desires, the number must be reckoned according to the ordi 
nary stipends customary in the place where the giver of them 
lived, unless circumstances are such that it must be lawfully 
presumed that his intention was different. (Canon 830.) 

674. It is the right of the local Ordinary to fix the amount 
of the stipend, which should, as far as possible, be done in the 
diocesan synod; the priest may not demand a larger stipend 
than has been fixed by the law of the bishop. 

Where there is no law of the bishop fixing the stipend, the 
custom of the diocese should be followed. 


All religious, also the exempt ones, are obliged to observe 
the law of the bishop, or the custom of the diocese, concerning 
Mass stipends. (Canon 831.) 

675. The priest may accept a larger stipend, if voluntarily 
offered; and, unless the Ordinary has forbidden it, he may ac 
cept a smaller one. (Canon 832.) 

676. It is presumed that the one who offers the stipend 
only requests the application of Holy Mass; if, however, he has 
explicitly stipulated certain circumstances for its celebration, the 
priest who accepts the stipend must fulfill the conditions made 
by the one who offered the stipend. (Canon 833.) 

677. Concerning the time when Holy Mass is to be said, 
the following rules must be observed: 

1. if the day was specified by the giver of the stipend, 
Holy Mass must absolutely be said that day; 

2. if the giver of manual stipends did not expressly specify 
the day, then (1) Masses ordered for an urgent cause must be 
said as soon as possible, and within the time proper to obtain 
the purpose, e. g., a Mass said for a successful examination, 
which naturally has to be said before the examination takes 
place; (2) in all other cases Holy Mass must be said within a 
short time, a longer or shorter period, according to the number 
of Masses; 

3. if the giver of the stipend expressly left the time for 
saying the Holy Masses to the judgment of the priest, he may 
say them at a time that he finds more convenient. The rule of 
the following Canon, however, must be observed. (Canon 834.) 

678. No one is allowed to receive more Masses than he 
himself can say within a year. (Canon 835.) 

679. In churches where, on account of the special devo 
tion of the faithful, stipends for Masses are offered in such a 
number that it is impossible to say all of them in that church 
within the required time, the faithful should be notified by no 
tices posted in a conspicuous place that the Holy Masses will 
be said either in that church when possible, or in other places. 
(Canon 836.) 

680. He who has Masses which are to be said by others, 
should distribute them as soon as possible, observing Canon 841. 
The time prescribed by law for their application begins on the 


day on which the priest received them, unless the contrary is 
certain from other reasons. (Canon 837.) 

681. He who has a number of Masses which he is allowed 
to give to others, may distribute them among priests of his 
choice, provided he knows they are absolutely trustworthy or 
are recommended by the testimony of their Ordinary. (Canon 

682. He who has given to other priests Masses which he 
received from the faithful, or which are in any way entrusted 
to him, is held to their obligation until he received notice that 
the stipends were received by the priest, and that he has ac 
cepted to say the Masses. (Canon 839.) 

683. He who transmits manual stipends to others must 
send away the stipends as he received them, and cannot retain 
part of larger stipends, unless the giver expressly permits this, 
or it is certain that what was offered above the usual stipend 
was given intuitu personae, that is to say, for special personal 

In Masses ad instar manualium (cf. Canon 826), unless 
the intention of the founder is otherwise, the excess of the ordi 
nary stipend may be retained, if the larger stipend takes the 
place of a partial endowment of the benefice or pious institution, 
and it is sufficient to send the manual stipend customary in the 
place where the Masses are to be said. (Canon 840.) 

684. Each and every administrator of pious institutions, 
or any one else who is obliged to attend to the saying of Holy 
Masses for stipends, whether clerics or laymen, must at the end 
of each year send to their Ordinaries those stipends for which 
they have not yet satisfied, according to the manner to be spe 
cified by the Ordinary. 

This time is to be understood in such way that for stipends 
ad instar manualium the obligation of sending them to the bishop 
begins with the end of the year during which they should have 
been said ; for manual stipends, one year from the day on which 
they were received, saving the different will of the givers. (Canon 

685. The right and duty to see that the obligation of the 
Mass stipends is attended to in secular churches belongs to the 
Ordinary; in churches of the religious, to their superiors. (Canon 


686. The rectors of churches and other pious places, both 
secular and religious, in which stipends for Masses are usually 
received, must have a special book in which they should accu 
rately mark down the number, intention, amount of stipend, and 
the celebration of the Masses they receive. 

The Ordinaries are obliged to inspect these books at least 
once a year, either in person or through some one else. (Canon 

687. The Ordinaries of dioceses, and religious superiors, 
who give Masses to their subjects or to others to say, shall mark 
down at once the Masses with the alms they receive, in the 
order in which they get them, and attend to it that as far as 
possible they are said soon. 

Every priest, whether secular or religious, must mark down 
accurately the Mass intentions which they receive, and whether 
and when they have satisfied them. (Canon 844.) 

The Blessed Sacrament. 

Article I. The Minister of Holy Communion. 

688. The priest alone is the ordinary minister of Holy 
Communion. The deacon is the extraordinary minister, who 
must have the permission of the Ordinary or of the pastor, which 
can be given for a grave reason and can be lawfully presumed 
in case of necessity. (Canon 845.) 

689. Every priest may distribute holy Communion in the 
Mass, and, if he celebrates privately, also immediately before 
or after Mass. 

Outside Holy Mass any priest may administer holy Com 
munion, and if he does not belong to that church he should have 
at least the presumed permission of the rector of the church. 
(Canon 846.) 

690. Holy Communion should be brought to the sick pub 
licly, unless good reasons make the private ministration advis 
able. (Canon 847.) 

691. The right a>nd duty to carry holy Communion pub 
licly to the sick within the parish, even to non-parishioners, be 
longs to the pastor. 

Other priests may do so only in case of necessity, and with 


at least the presumed permission of the pastor or Ordinary. 
(Canon 848.) 

692. Any priest may privately bring holy Communion to 
the sick with at least the presumed permission of the priest to 
whom the custody of the Blessed Sacrament is entrusted. 

When holy Communion is administered privately to the 
sick, the reverence and respect due to such a Sacrament should 
zealously be safeguarded, by observance of the regulations laid 
down by the Holy See. (Canon 849.) 

693. The administration of the holy Viaticum, whether 
public or private, belongs to the pastor, according to Canon 848. 
The exceptions to this Canon are stated in Canons 397, n. 3 and 
514, i_3. (Canon 850.) 

694. The priest shall give holy Communion either in fer 
mented or unfermented bread, according to the rules of his Rite. 

In case of urgent necessity, when there is no priest of an 
other Rite to be had, the priest of the Oriental Rite, who uses 
fermented bread, may give holy Communion in unfermented 
bread, and vice versa. Each one shall observe the ceremonies 
proper to his own Rite. (Canon 851.) 

695. Holy Communion is to be given only under the spe 
cies of bread. (Canon 852.) 

Article II. The Recipient of Holy Communion. 

696. Every baptized person not barred by law can and 
must be admitted to holy Communion. (Canon 853.) 

697. Children who, on account of their age, have not yet 
the knowledge and desire for this Sacrament should not be given 
holy Communion. 

In case of danger of death holy Communion may be given 
to young children, if they know to distinguish the holy Euchar 
ist from ordinary bread, and reverently adore it. 

Outside the case of danger of death a deeper knowledge 
of Christian doctrine, and a more accurate preparation is justly 
demanded, to an extent that they know at least the mysteries of 
faith necessary as absolute means of salvation, and that they 
do approach holy Communion with such devotion as can be 
expected from young children. 

The judgment of the sufficient disposition of children for 


first holy Communion shall rest with the confessor of the chil 
dren and their parents, or those who take the place of the 

The pastor has the duty to watch that the children do not 
approach holy Communion before they have come to the use 
of reason, and without sufficient knowledge, wherefore he has 
the right to examine the children. It is the pastor s duty to see 
to it that the children who have attained the years of discretion 
and have sufficient instruction are as soon as possible strength 
ened by this Divine food. (Canon 854.) 

698. Notoriously unworthy Catholics, such as those ex 
communicated, interdicted, and of public bad repute, must not 
be admitted to holy Communion until after their repentance and 
amendment is known, and satisfaction has been made for pub 
lic scandal. 

Occult sinners who secretly ask for holy Communion should 
be refused by the priest if he knows that they have not amended; 
if, however, they ask publicly and the priest cannot pass them 
over without scandal, he may give them holy Communion. 
(Canon 855.) 

699. No one who is conscious of mortal sin shall go to 
holy Communion before making a sacramental confession, no 
matter how contrite he may be. If necessity urges the recep 
tion of holy Communion, and there is no opportunity to go to 
confession, an act of perfect contrition should first be made. 
(Canon 856.) 

700. No one is allowed to receive holy Communion a sec 
ond time on the same day, except in the cases mentioned in 
Canon 858, 1. (Canon 857.) Cf. Canon 864, 2. 

701. Those who have not kept the natural fast from mid 
night are not allowed to receive, except in danger of death, or 
in case it should become necessary to consume the Blessed Sacra 
ment to safeguard it against irreverence. 

The sick who have been laid up for a month without cer 
tain hope of speedy recovery, may, with the advice of the con 
fessor, receive holy Communion once or twice a week though 
they have taken medicine or some liquid food. (Canon 858.) 

The reader will notice that the Code extends the original 
concessions in favor of sick people. The decree of the S. Con 
gregation of the Council, Dec. 7, 1906, distinguished between 


patients lying ill in a hospital or other place where the Blessed 
Sacrament was kept, and allowed them to receive once or twice 
a week under the same conditions as mentioned in this Canon, 
while patients in other places could receive only once or twice 
a month without observing the eucharistic fast. 

702. Each and every Catholic of either sex must, after 
having attained the years of discretion, receive holy Com 
munion once a year at least in the Easter season, unless at the 
direction of his priest he believes it proper to abstain for some 

The Easter Communion is to be received between Palm- 
Sunday and Low Sunday; the local Ordinaries have the right 
to extend this period for all the faithful of the diocese, if they 
think this necessary on account of the condition of people and 
place, from the fourth Sunday in Lent to Trinity Sunday, but 
no further. 

The faithful are to be advised to satisfy their Easter duty 
in their own parish church, and those who received in another 
church should take care to inform their pastor of the fulfilment 
of their Easter duty. 

If for any reason one has not made his Easter duty with 
in the prescribed time he is still bound by that precept. (Canon 

703. The obligation of the Easter duty for children be 
low the age of puberty rests principally on those who have the 
responsibility for the children, namely, parents, guardians, con 
fessor, teachers, and the pastor. (Canon 860.) 

704. The precept of receiving holy Communion is not sat 
isfied by a sacrilegious Communion. (Canon 861.) 

705. It is proper that priests who do not celebrate on 
Holy Thursday receive holy Communion in the solemn, or con 
ventual, Mass on that day. (Canon 862.) 

706. The faithful should be admonished according to the 
decrees of the Holy See to receive the eucharistic bread fre 
quently, and even daily, and that those who assist at Holy Mass 
should not only communicate spiritually, but be prepared to re 
ceive in reality our Lord in the holy Eucharist. (Canon 863.) 

707. In danger of death, no matter from what cause the 
danger arises, the faithful are bound to the precept of receiving 
holy Communion. 


Though they have received holy Communion the same day 
they are to be strongly advised to receive again if in the course 
of the day they should come into danger of death. 

During the danger of death the holy Viaticum may, ac 
cording to the judgment of the confessor, be administered re 
peatedly for several days. (Canon 864.) 

708. The holy Viaticum for the sick should not be de 
ferred too long, and those who have the care of souls should 
see to it that sick people receive it while as yet fully conscious. 
(Canon 865.) 

709. All the faithful of any Rite are given permission 
for devotion s sake to receive the Blessed Sacrament consecrated 
in any Rite. 

They are to be advised, however, that each one receive the 
Easter Communion in his own Rite. 

The holy Viaticum must be received in one s own Rite, but 
in urgent necessity it is lawful to receive it in any Rite. (Canon 

Article III. Time and Place for the Distribution of 
Holy Communion. 

710. Holy Communion may be distributed every day. 

On Good Friday, however, it may be given only in the form 
of the holy Viaticum to the sick. 

On Holy Saturday holy Communion cannot be given to the 
people except in the Mass of the day, or immediately after the 
Mass is finished. 

Holy Communion is to be given only during those hours of 
the day when the celebration of Holy Mass is allowed, unless 
there is good reason to give it at other times of the day. 

The holy Viaticum may be given any hour of the day or 
night. (Canon 867.) 

711. The priest who says Holy Mass is not allowed to give 
holy Communion during the Mass to people who are so far away 
from the altar that the priest has to go out of sight of the altar. 
(Canon 868.) 

712. Holy Communion may be given wherever Holy Mass 
is allowed to be said, even in a private oratory, unless the bishop 
of the diocese should for good reasons have forbidden it in some 
particular case. (Canon 869.) 


The Sacrament of Penance. 

713. In the Sacrament of Penance the faithful who are 
properly disposed receive pardon of the sins they have committed 
after Baptism, by the judicial absolution of a legitimately ap 
pointed priest. (Canon 870.) 

The Minister of the Sacrament of Penance. 

714. A priest only is the minister of this Sacrament. 
(Canon 871.) 

715. Besides the power of orders, there is the power of 
jurisdiction, either ordinary or delegated, necessarily required in 
the minister for valid absolution from sins. (Canon 872.) 

716. Ordinary jurisdiction for the hearing of confessions 
in the whole Church have, besides the Roman Pontiff, also the 
Cardinals ; and, in their respective territory, the local Ordinaries, 
the pastor, and others who take the place of pastors. 

Ordinary jurisdiction have also the Canon Penitentiary of a 
collegiate church, according to Canon 401, 1, and the superiors 
of exempt religious for their subjects, according to their consti 

This jurisdiction ceases with the loss of office, according to 
Canon 184, and by incurring excommunication, suspension from 
office, and interdict after a declaratory or condemnatory sentence 
of the ecclesiastical judge. (Canon 873.) 

717. Delegated jurisdiction to hear the confession, both of 
seculars and of religious, is given to secular priests as well as to 
exempt and non-exempt religious by the Ordinary of the place 
where the confessions are to be heard. The religious, however, 
should not make use of this faculty without at least the presumed 
permission of their superiors. The rule of Canon 519, however, 
shall stand. 

The Ordinaries of dioceses should not give to the religious 
habitual faculties to hear confessions unless they have been 
presented by their own superiors ; and to those presented by their 
own superiors they should not deny this faculty without a serious 
reason. Canon 877 is, however, to be observed. (Canon 874.) 


718. In clerical exempt Religious Orders and congregations 
the proper superior, according to the constitutions, can give dele 
gated jurisdiction to hear the confessions of the professed, the 
novices and of those who board in the religious house, mentioned 
in Canon 514, 1 ; this jurisdiction he may give also to secular 
priests and priests of another Order or congregation. 

In laical exempt Orders the superior proposes the confessor 
who, however, must obtain jurisdiction from the Ordinary of the 
diocese where the religious house is situated. (Canon 875.) 

719. Revoking all contrary particular laws or privileges, 
all secular and religious priests need special jurisdiction to validly 
and licitly hear the confessions of any religious women, even of 
novices. Exceptions to this rule are contained in Canons 239, 
1, n. 1, 522 and 523, which Canons refer to the faculties the 
Cardinals have to hear confessions of seculars and religious any 
where; the other Canons refer to the confessions of religious 
made in any church, public or semi-public oratory, where any 
approved priest can hear religious women, and to cases of serious 
illness when the sick sister may call any approved priest to hear 
her confession. Outside these cases therefore no priest can hear 
the confession of sisters in their convents without being specially 
approved for the sisters. 

This faculty is to be given by the Ordinary of the diocese 
where the house of the sisters is situated, according to Canon 525. 
( Canon 876.) 

720. Both, the bishop and the religious superior, should not 
grant faculties to hear confessions except to those who by exami 
nation have been found capable, unless there is question of priests 
whose theological learning is plainly known from other sources. 

If, after the faculty has been granted, serious doubt arises 
as to whether the priest who was approved continues to be ca 
pable, those who approved him may recall him for examination, 
even though there is question of a pastor or a canon penitentiary. 
(Canon 877.) 

721. Delegated jurisdiction or permission to hear confes 
sions can be given with certain restrictions. 

The bishop and religious superiors should, however, not 
limit the jurisdiction or permission too much without a reason 
able cause. (Canon 878.) 

722. Jurisdiction must be given either in writing or ex- 


pressed in words in order to be valid for the hearing of con 

No compensation can be demanded for the granting of juris 
diction. (Canon 879.) 

723. The bishop and the religious superior should not re 
voke or suspend the jurisdiction or permission to hear confes 
sions except for a serious reason. 

For grave reasons the bishop may deprive of the faculties to 
hear confessions even pastors and penitentiaries, who may, how 
ever, take recourse to the Holy See, but must in the meantime 
abide by the orders of the bishop. 

The bishop is not allowed without consulting the Holy See 
to deprive all the confessors of a religious community at one and 
the same time of their faculties, if there is question of so-called 
formed houses. (Canon 880.) 

724. All priests, seculars as well as religious, approved for 
confessions in some diocese, either with ordinary or delegated 
jurisdiction, can also hear and absolve those who have no domi 
cile, called vagi, and those who belong to another diocese or 
parish, and Catholics of any Oriental Rite. 

Those who have ordinary jurisdiction can absolve their sub 
jects anywhere in the world. (Canon 881.) 

725. In danger of death any priest, though he be not ap 
proved for confessions, may validly and licitly absolve all peni 
tents from all sins and censures, no matter in what manner they 
are reserved and how public their censure is, though there be 
present an approved priest. There are two modifications to this 
rule, one contained in Canon 884, which will be seen there, and 
the other in Canon 2252, which orders that when the priest ab 
solves a penitent in danger of death from a censure specialissimo 
modo reserved to the Holy See or from a censure inflicted by the 
Holy See or an Ordinary by special sentence on the guilty per 
son, recourse must be had to the Holy See in the one case, and 
to the authority that inflicted the censure in the other, for the 
imposition of a penance, if the sick person gets well. (Canon 

726. All priests who make an ocean trip can hear confes 
sions on board during the time of the voyage and absolve the 
faithful who travel with them, though the boat may pass 
through the diocese of other bishops or stay for a while in some 


port, provided they have been approved for confessions either by 
the bishop of their own diocese, or by the bishop of the port 
where they take ship, or by the Ordinary of any of the ports at 
which the boat calls. 

Whenever the boat stops at some port during the trip they 
may hear and absolve not only the people who for any reason 
come on board ship, but, if the priest goes ashore for a while, 
also those people who request him to hear their confession, in 
which case he may absolve also from sins reserved by the bishop 
of that place. (Canon 883.) 

727. The absolution of the priest s own accomplice in a sin 
of impurity is invalid except when that person is in danger of 
death. The priest absolves illicitly even in danger of death un 
less another priest cannot be had, or the calling of another under 
the circumstances would implicitly reveal the sin of the priest 
and of the sick person; the apostolic Constitutions, and especially 
that of Pope Benedict XIV: Sacramentum Poenitentiae, thus 
declare. (Canon 884.) 

728. Though the prayers attached by the Church to the 
formula of absolution are not necessary for the validity of the 
absolution, nevertheless they should not be omitted except for 
good reasons. (Canon 885.) 

729. If the confessor cannot call in doubt the proper dis 
position of a penitent who asks for absolution, the priest must 
neither deny nor defer absolution. (Canon 886.) 

730. The confessor should impose a salutary penance in 
proportion to the number and gravity of the sins, and accommo 
dated to the condition of penitents, which penance they must ac 
cept with a willing heart and perform personally. (Canon 887.) 

731. The priest should remember that in the hearing of 
confessions h^ is to act the part of both judge and physician, and 
that he is appointed by God a minister of both Divine justice 
and mercy, so as to safeguard the honor of God and provide for 
the welfare of souls. 

The priest must absolutely guard against inquiring about 
the name of an accomplice in sins confessed, and against detain 
ing penitents with useless and too inquisitive questions, especially 
concerning the Sixth Commandment, lest he may by imprudent 
questions teach the youth what they should not know. (Canon 


732. The sacramental seal is inviolable, wherefore the con 
fessor must carefully watch himself not to betray the sinner by 
words or signs, or in any other way, for any reason whatsoever. 

The obligation of keeping the sacramental seal rests also 
with the interpreter, and with all other persons to whom knowl 
edge of the confession has come in any way. (Canon 889.) 

733. The confessor is absolutely forbidden to use the 
knowledge derived from confession in any manner disagreeable 
to the penitent, even though there be no danger of revelation. 

The actual superior, as well as the confessor who is made 
superior afterwards, cannot use the knowledge they have gained 
from confessions for the purpose of the external government in 
any way. (Canon 890.) 

734. The master of novices and his associate, and the su 
perior of a seminary or college, shall not hear the confessions of 
the pupils in their charge, except in particular cases where the 
novice or student for grave and urgent reasons should of his 
own accord ask them to hear his confession. (Canon 891.) 

735. Pastors and others to whom the care of souls is en 
trusted by virtue of their office, are held under grave obligation 
of justice to hear, either in person or through others, the con 
fessions of the faithful in their charge whenever they reasonably 
ask to be heard. 

In case of urgent necessity all confessors are by the duty of 
charity obliged to hear the confessions of the faithful, and in 
danger of death any priest, though he is not approved or is under 
censure, (Canon 892.) 


Reservation of Sins. 

736. Those who have the ordinary power of giving to 
others faculties to hear confessions or to inflict censures, can also 
reserve some cases to their own tribunal and thus limit the power 
of absolution given to their priests. Though the vicar capitular 
and the vicar general have ordinary power to approve others for 
confession, the vicar capitular (with us the administrator of the 
diocese) cannot reserve cases, and the vicar general only by 
special mandate from the bishop. 

This restriction of jurisdiction is called the reservation of 


In reference to the reservation of censures the rules of 
Canons 2246-2247 are to be followed. (Canon 893.) 

737. Among the papal reserved censures there is only one 
case reserved after the manner of reserved sins, namely the false 
accusation before ecclesiastical judges of an innocent priest, 
charging him with the crime of solicitation in confession. (Canon 
894.) The Code, in Canon 2363, punishes this sin with excom 
munication reserved to the Holy See speciali modo, which cen 
sure is new. Papal censures as a rule are reserved in such a 
manner that the censure is the primary object of the reservation, 
so that a case ceases to be reserved if the censure was not in 
curred, be it through ignorance of the penalty or through any 
other excuse from the censure admitted in law. The case of 
Canon 894 is an exception from the general rule, and as the 
Canon states, the only exception in papal cases. 

738. The Ordinaries of dioceses should not reserve sins 
until after a thorough discussion in the diocesan synod, or out 
side the synod with the cathedral Chapter or the diocesan consul- 
tors and other experienced and prudent confessors, so as to make 
sure that the reservation will be really necessary, or at least use 
ful. (Canon 895.) 

739. The Superior General, and the abbot of an indepen 
dent monastery, with their respective council are the only supe 
riors of religious who can reserve sins of their subjects. (Canon 
896.) Canon 518, 1, demands that in each house several con 
fessors are to be appointed to whom the faculty to absolve from 
sins reserved in the Orders must be granted; Canon 519 rules 
that a priest approved by the bishop of the diocese to whom a 
religious comes to confession may absolve him from all sins even 
from those reserved in the Order. Former concessions granting 
to exempt religious the right to make their confession to a priest 
not approved by the superior for the confessions of their sub 
jects, had various restrictive clauses, for instance that only when 
they were for an entire day away from the house, or that for a 
whole day there was no other priest of the Order at home, etc. 
The present law does not place any such restrictions and revokes 
all contrary privileges. In the matter of confession the privilege 
of exemption has therefore been considerably diminished for all 
exempt religious, but it has been done in the best interests of 
liberty in affairs of conscience. 


740. The reserved cases should be few in number, namely 
three or at most four, and they should embrace the more grievous 
and hideous external crimes specifically stated. The reservation 
should not remain in force longer than necessary for the extir 
pation of some inveterate public crime, or for the restoration of 
weakened Christian discipline. (Canon 897.) 

741. The inferior authorities shall abstain from reserving 
to themselves sins which are by reason of the censure attached 
to the sin already reserved to the Holy See. They shall also as 
a rule refrain from reserving sins to which the law has already 
attached a censure that is not reserved. (Canon 898.) The 
Code, therefore, does not wish the Ordinaries to make those sins 
which are punished with a censure by the laws of the Code 
diocesan reserved sins, in case the papal censure was not con 
tracted by the guilty person through ignorance of the censure or 
other excuses admitted in law. 

742. The Ordinaries of dioceses should see to it that once 
they have reserved some cases as seemed to them necessary or 
useful, these reservations come to the knowledge of the people 
and they should not grant faculty too freely to absolve from the 
reserved cases. 

The faculty to absolve from the bishop s reserved cases is 
granted by law to the Canon Penitentiary of cathedral and colle 
giate churches, and should be given habitually to the deans, with 
the power to subdelegate priests of their district for individual 
cases, especially in towns and districts far away from the epis 
copal city. 

By law the pastors, and others who come under the name 
of pastors in the Code, have the faculty to absolve from the 
bishop s reserved cases, no matter in what manner they are re 
served, during the time in which the Easter duty can be fulfilled, 
and the missionaries for the time of missions given to the people. 
(Canon 899.) 

743. Any reservation ceases: 

1. if the sick who cannot leave the house make their con 
fession, and when those about to be married confess ; 

2. whenever the legitimate superior has refused the faculty 
to absolve asked in an individual case, and also in cases where 
the confessor judges that the faculty to absolve cannot be asked 
from the proper superior without great inconvenience to the peni- 


tent, or without danger of violating the sacramental seal. In 
ordinary cases, when the penitent cannot conveniently wait for 
absolution, he may be indirectly absolved from the bishop s re 
served case and faculty obtained afterwards to absolve directly ; 
3. if the penitent who has fallen into a case reserved to the 
bishop goes outside the diocese, even for no other purpose than 
to get absolution, he can be absolved by any priest. If, however, 
the same case should perchance be reserved also in that other dio 
cese the priest cannot absolve the penitent because his jurisdic 
tion over that sin is taken away from him. (Canon 900,) 

The Subject of the Sacrament of Penance. 

744. Any person who has committed mortal sins after 
Baptism, for which he has not yet received direct pardon through 
the power of the keys, is bound to confess all mortal sins which 
after a diligent examination of conscience he finds himself guilty 
of, together with the circumstances which may change the species 
of sins. (Canon 901.) 

745. Mortal sins committed after Baptism, and already 
directly remitted by the power of the keys, or venial sins, are 
sufficient but not necessary matter for the Sacrament of Pen 
ance. (Canon 902.) 

746. Those who cannot make themselves understood any 
other way are not forbidden to confess through an interpreter if 
they wish to do so, and the interpreter is, as Canon 889, 2, 
states, held to the seal of confession in the same manner as the 
priest. ( Canon 903 . ) 

747. According to the Apostolic constitutions, and espe 
cially according to the Constitution of Pope Benedict XIV, Sacra- 
mentum Poenitentiae, of June 1, 1741, the penitent has the duty 
to denounce to the Ordinary or the Sacred Congregation of the 
Holy Office within one month the priest who is guilty of solicita 
tion in confession; the confessor has the duty, under pain of 
mortal sin, to remind the penitent of this obligation. (Canon 

748. All the faithful may, if th ey prefer, make their con 
fession to a lawfully approved priest of any other Catholic Rite. 
(Canon 905.) 


749. Each and every one of the faithful of either sex have 
the obligation, from the time they attain the use of reason, to 
confess all their sins truthfully at least once a year, that is to 
say, all their mortal sim which have not yet been properly con 
fessed and directly remitted by absolution. (Canon 906.) 

750. He who makes a sacrilegious, or intentionally invalid 
confession does not satisfy the precept of confessing his sins. 
(Canon 907.) 

The Place where Confessions are heard. 

751. The proper place for sacramental confession is the 
church, or a public or semi-public oratory. ( Canon 908. ) 

752. The confessional for hearing the confessions of 
women shall always be placed in an open and conspicuous place, 
and as a rule in a church or public or semi-public oratory ap 
pointed for women. 

The confessional must be so constructed that between the 
penitent and the confessor there is an irremovable grate with 
small holes. ( Canon 909. ) 

753. The confessions of women are not to be heard outside 
the confessional, except in case of illness or any other real neces 
sity, and under the precautions prescribed by the bishop of the 

The confessions of men may be heard also in private houses. 
(Canon 910.) 


Article I. Concession of Indulgences. 

754. All the faithful should hold in great reverence the 
indulgences which the ecclesiastical authority grants from the 
treasury of the Church. Indulgences given to the living are 
granted in the form of absolution from temporal punishment due 
for sins already pardoned as to their guilt, and if granted to be 
gained for the faithful departed they are applied in the form of 
suffrage, because the Church has no longer jurisdiction over the 
faithful once they have passed this life. (Canon 911.) 

755. To the Roman Pontiff is committed by Christ the en 
tire spiritual treasury of the Church, wherefore only the Pope 


and those to whom he has given participation in the power by 
law, have the ordinary power to grant indulgences. (Canon 912.) 

756. Those inferior to the Roman Pontiff cannot : 

1. give to others the faculty to grant indulgences, unless 
the Holy See has expressly given them this indult; 

2. concede indulgences that are applicable to the poor 
souls ; 

3. attach an indulgence to the same object, or the same 
pious work, or to a sodality to which the Holy See or another 
authority has already granted an indulgence, unless additional 
conditions are prescribed for gaining the indulgence. (Canon 

757. The Papal Benediction with a plenary indulgence may 
be given in the prescribed form of the Ritual by the bishop in his 
own diocese twice a year, namely on Easter Sunday and on an 
other solemn feast to be designated by him, though he only assist 
at the solemn Mass; abbots and prelates nullius, vicars and pre 
fects apostolic, though they are not consecrated bishops, may in 
their territory give the Papal Benediction on one of the more 
solemn feasts of the year. (Canon 914.) 

758. Regulars who have the privilege to give the Papal 
Benediction are not only obliged to observe the prescribed form, 
but cannot make use of their privilege except in their own 
churches and in the churches of the nuns and of tertiaries legiti 
mately aggregated to their Order. They are not allowed to give 
it on the same day in the same place where the bishop imparts 
the Papal Benediction. (Canon 915.) 

759. The bishops, abbots, prelates nullius, vicars and pre 
fects apostolic, and the major superiors of clerical exempt reli 
gious, can designate and declare one altar privileged daily and 
forever (provided there is no other altar in the church that has 
already the same privilege) in their cathedral, abbatial, collegiate, 
conventual, parochial and quasi-parochial churches, not, how 
ever, in public or semi-public oratories unless they are united to 
the parish church, or subsidiary to it. (Canon 916.) 

760. On All Souls Day all Masses have the same privilege 
as though they were celebrated at a privileged altar. 

All altars of a church are privileged on days on which the 
Forty Hours Devotion is held. (Canon 917.) 

761. In order to indicate that the altar is privileged noth- 


ing else should be inscribed except "privileged altar, with the 
addition of "perpetual," or "temporary," "daily," or otherwise, 
according to the wording of the indult. 

For Masses to be said at the privileged altar no larger sti 
pend can be demanded by reason of the privilege. (Canon 918.) 

762. New indulgences, also those granted to churches of 
regulars, must not be published without first consulting the bishop 
of the diocese. If, however, the indulgence has been published 
at Rome, for instance, by publishing the indult in the Ada Apos- 
tolicae Sedis, they need not be submitted to the Ordinary. 

In the publication of books, pamphlets, etc., containing a list 
of indulgences granted to various prayers and pious works, 
Canon 1388 is to be observed, which demands the approval of the 
bishop and in certain instances that of the Holy See. (Canon 

763. The person who obtained from the Roman Pontiff a 
concession of indulgences for all the faithful, is obliged, under 
pain of nullity of the concession, to place before the Sacred Peni 
tentiary an authentic copy of the concession. (Canon 920.) 

764. Plenary indulgences conceded for the feasts of our 
Lord and of the Blessed Virgin, are to be understood for those 
feasts only that are found in the universal calendar of the 

A plenary or a partial indulgence conceded for the feasts of 
Apostles can be gained only on their dies natalis. 

A plenary indulgence granted, either daily and perpetually 
or for some time, to those who visit a church or public oratory 
is to be understood in such way that it can be gained any day but 
only once a year by any of the faithful, unless the indult ex 
pressly makes other provisions. (Canon 921.) 

765. The indulgences annexed to feasts, or to sacred sup 
plications and prayers in the form of novenas, or held for a week 
or three days either before or after the feast or during the oc 
tave, are to be considered transferred to that day to which the 
feast is legitimately transferred, if the transferred feast has an 
office and Holy Mass without solemnity and external celebration, 
and the transfer is made perpetual or if either for a time or for 
ever the external celebration of the solemnity is transferred. 
(Canon 922.) 

766. In order to gain an indulgence affixed to a certain day, 


for which the visit of some church or oratory is required, the visit 
can be made from noon of the preceding day until midnight of 
the day appointed for the indulgence. (Canon 923.) 

767. In accordance with the rule of Canon 75, the indul 
gences attached to some church do not cease if the church should 
be totally destroyed but rebuilt within fifty years in about the 
same location and under the same title. 

Indulgences attached to prayer beads, and other religious 
objects, cease then only when the beads or other blessed articles 
cease to exist, or are sold. ( Canon 924. ) 

Article II. Manner of Gaining Indulgences. 

768. In order that one may gain for himself any indul 
gence he must be baptized, free from excommunication, in the 
state of grace at least at the end of the pious works prescribed, 
and a subject of the authority granting the indulgence. 

If a subject capable of gaining indulgences is to actually 
acquire them, he must have at least the general intention to gain 
them, and fulfil the prescribed good works at the stated time and 
in the manner required by the wording of the indult. (Canon 

769. The plenary indulgence is to be considered granted in 
such manner that, if one cannot gain it for oneself as a plenary 
indulgence, he may gain it partially according to the disposition 
in which his soul is. (Canon 926.) 

770. Unless the concession reads otherwise, the indul 
gences granted by the bishop can be gained by his subjects also 
outside the territory of the diocese, and likewise by transients 
and vagi, and by all exempt persons actually living in the diocese. 
(Canon 927.) 

771. A plenary indulgence can be gained once a day only, 
though the prescribed work be performed repeatedly on the same 
day, unless the indult expressly allows the repeated gaining of 
the indulgence. 

Partial indulgences, on the contrary, may be gained repeat 
edly on the same day by repetition of the prescribed good work, 
unless the indult explicitly makes a restriction. ( Canon 928. ) 

772. The faithful of either sex who, either for the sake of 
religious perfection, or study and education, or for the sake of 
health, lead a community life in houses established with the con- 


sent of the Ordinary of the diocese, and all other persons living 
there to do service, can gain indulgences for which the visit of 
some church or public oratory in general is required by visiting 
the chapel in the house, where they can by law satisfy their obli 
gation of hearing Mass on Sundays and holidays of obligation, 
provided there is no public church or oratory attached to the in 
stitution, and that they fulfil the other good works prescribed for 
the gaining of the indulgence. (Canon 929.) 

773. No person gaining an indulgence can apply it to other 
living persons ; to the poor souls in purgatory all indulgences con 
ceded by the Roman Pontiff may be applied, unless the contrary 
is stated in the indult. (Canon 930.) 

774. The confession which may be demanded for any of 
the indulgences, can be made within eight days immediately pre 
ceding the day to which the indulgence is attached; holy Com 
munion may be received the day previous, and both, confession 
and Communion, can also be made during the octave of the feast. 

To gain the indulgences granted for triduums, or exercises 
for a week, etc., the confession and Communion can be made 
within eight days immediately following the conclusion of the 

The faithful who are in the habit to confess at least twice 
a month unless legitimately impeded, or who receive holy Com 
munion dajly in the state of grace and with a good and holy in 
tention, though they may abstain from receiving once or twice 
a week, can gain all indulgences without actual confession for 
which otherwise confession would be a necessary condition. The 
indulgences of an ordinary or extraordinary jubilee, and those 
granted in the form of a jubilee, are excepted from this conces 
sion. (Canon 931.) 

775. By good works to which one is held by law or precept 
the indulgence cannot be gained, unless in the concession of the 
indulgence the contrary is expressly conceded; good works im 
posed as penance in sacramental confession, however, which may 
perchance be enriched with indulgences, serve both for satisfac 
tion of the penance and for the gaining of the indulgence. 
(Canon 932.) 

776. To one and the same object or place various indul 
gences from different titles can be annexed, but by one and the 
same good work to which by different titles various indulgences 


are annexed one cannot gain all these various indulgences, unless 
the good work prescribed is confession and holy Communion, or 
the indult granting the indulgence expressly states the contrary. 
(Canon 933.) 

777. If for the gaining of an indulgence prayer in general 
for the intentions of the Holy Father is prescribed, purely mental 
prayer is not sufficient; the vocal prayer may be chosen by the 
faithful, unless particular prayers are assigned. 

If a particular prayer is assigned, the indulgences can be 
gained by reciting the prayer in any language, provided there is 
certainty as to the exactness of the translation either by declara 
tion of the Sacred Penitentiary or by the bishop of the diocese 
where the language, into which the prayer has been translated, 
is commonly used. The indulgences, however, cease by any ad 
dition, diminution or interpolation. 

For the gaining of the indulgence it suffices to say the 
prayers alternately with others, or to follow them mentally while 
they are recited by another. ( Canon 934. ) 

778. The confessors can commute the good works de 
manded for the gaining of indulgences for people who on account 
of some legitimate impediment cannot perform these works. 
(Canon 935.) 

779. Mutes can gain the indulgences attached to the reci 
tation of public prayers by assisting with the faithful at the 
services and raising their hearts and minds to God. If there is 
question of private prayers it is sufficient that they say them 
mentally, or by signs, or by perusing them with their eyes. 
(Canon 936.) 


Extreme Unction. 

780. The Sacrament of Extreme Unction must be admin 
istered by the sacred anointings with properly blessed olive oil 
and pronouncing the words prescribed in the rituals approved by 
the Church. (Canon 937.) 

The Minister of Extreme Unction. 

781. This Sacrament can be validly administered only by 
a priest. 


With the exceptions mentioned in Canons 397, n. 3, and 
514, 1-3, the pastor of the parish in which the sick person 
happens to be is the ordinary minister of Extreme Unction. In 
case of necessity, or with the permission at least presumed of the 
pastor or the Ordinary, any other priest may administer this 
Sacrament. (Canon 938.) 

782. The ordinary minister is bound in justice to admin 
ister Extreme Unction, and in case of necessity any priest is 
bound to do so by the virtue of charity. (Canon 939.) 

The Recipient of Extreme Unction. 

783. Extreme Unction can be given only to the faithful 
who after having come to the use of reason fall into danger of 
death, either through illness or old age. 

In the same illness this Sacrament cannot be repeated, un 
less the sick person recovered from the illness after receiving the 
sacred anointing and again relapsed into danger of death. 
(Canon 940.) 

784. When there is doubt whether the sick person has at 
tained the use of reason, or whether he is really in danger of 
death, or whether he is still alive, this Sacrament is to be given 
conditionally. (Canon 941.) 

785. This Sacrament mut not be given to those who are 
known to have stubbornly persevered in mortal sin without re 
pentance; if there is doubt about their disposition, Extreme 
Unction may be given them conditionally. (Canon 942.) 

786. Those sick persons who, while they were conscious, 
did implicitly ask for Extreme Unction, or would very prob 
ably have asked for it, may be given this Sacrament absolutely, 
even though they are at the time deprived of the use of their 
senses. (Canon 943.) 

787. Although Extreme Unction is not a Sacrament abso 
lutely necessary for salvation, no one is allowed to neglect it, and 
care should be taken that the sick receive it while they are yet 
fully conscious. (Canon 944.) 

The Rites and Ceremonies of Extreme Unction. 

788. The olive oil to be used in Extreme Unction must be 


blessed for that purpose by a bishop, or by a priest who has the 
faculty for this blessing from the Holy See. (Canon 945.) 

789. The Oleum infirmorum is to be kept by the pastor in 
a neat and properly ornamented place in a receptacle of silver or 
white metal; he shall not keep it in his house except in the case 
provided for in Canon 735. (Canon 946.) 

790. The anointings are to be performed with the words, 
and in the order and manner prescribed in the rituals ; in case of 
necessity, however, one anointing of one of the senses, or rather 
on the forehead, with the prescribed shorter form, suffices, but 
the obligation remains to supply the other anointings when the 
danger ceases. 

The anointing of the loins is always to be omitted. 

The anointing of the feet may be omitted for any good 

With the exception of a case of grave necessity, the anoint 
ings are to be made by the hand of the priest without the use 
of any instrument. (Canon 947.) 


The Sacrament of Orders. 

791. The Sacrament of Orders, by the institution of 
Christ, distinguishes in the Church the clergy from the laity, 
for the government of the faithful and the ministry of Divine 
worship. (Canon 948.) 

792. In the Canons which follow the term of major or 
sacred Orders signifies the priesthood, deaconship and subdea- 
conship; the term minor Orders refers to acolites, exorcists, lec 
tors and ostiarius. (Canon 949.) 

793. In law the terms: ordain, order, ordination, sacred 
ordination, comprehend, besides the episcopal consecration, the 
orders enumerated in Canon 949, and also the first tonsure, unless 
the contrary is plain from the nature of the case, or the context 
of the Canons, (Canon 950.) 

The Minister of Sacred Ordination. 

794. The ordinary minister of sacred ordination is the 
bishop ; the extraordinary minister is a person who, although not 


possessing episcopal consecration, has received either by law or 
by a special indult of the Holy See the power to confer some or 
ders. (Canon 951.) 

795. No one is allowed without permission of the Holy 
See to promote to higher orders a cleric who has received some 
orders from the Roman Pontiff. (Canon 952.) 

796. The episcopal consecration is reserved to the Roman 
Pontiff so that no bishop is allowed to consecrate another bishop, 
unless he has first received the papal mandate. (Canon 953.) 

797. The consecrating bishop must employ two other 
bishops to assist him in the consecration, unless the Holy See 
has dispensed from this rule. (Canon 954.) 

798. Every cleric shall be ordained by his own bishop, or 
with his legitimate dimissorial letters. 

The proper bishop shall ordain in person his own subject, 
unless he is impeded by some just cause; he cannot, however, 
licitly ordain a subject belonging to an Oriental Rite without an 
apostolic indult. (Canon 955.) 

799. The proper bishop in reference to the ordination of 
seculars is only that bishop in whose diocese the candidate has 
a domicile, together with the birth place, or only a domicile with 
out having been born in the diocese. In the latter case the can 
didate must take the oath that he has the intention to perpetually 
stay in the diocese, unless there is question of a cleric who has 
already been incardinated into the diocese by the first tonsure, 
or of ordaining an alumnus who is destined for another diocese, 
according to Canon 969, 2, or, finally, of ordaining a professed 
religious, according to Canon 964, n. 5. (Canon 956.) 

800. The vicar and prefect apostolic, the abbot and the 
prelate nullius, if they have episcopal consecration, are held equal 
to the bishop in the matter of ordination. 

If they do not have episcopal consecration they can never 
theless confer in their own territory during the time of their 
office the first tonsure and minor orders on their own subjects, as 
well as on others who have the dismissorial letters required by 
law; ordination which was conferred beyond these limitations 
is null and void. (Canon 957.) 

801. Dimissorial letters for the seculars can be given, as 
long as they retain jurisdiction over their territory : 

1. by the proper bishop after he has legitimately taken 


session of his diocese, according to Canon 334, 3, even though 
he is not yet consecrated ; 

2. by the vicar general, by special mandate of the bishop; 

3. by the vicar capitular with the consent of the Chapter 
after one year of vacancy of the bishopric; before the end of 
the year he can give dimissorials only to those who must be 
ordained on account of a benefice they have received or are to 
receive, or on account of some certain office which must be filled 
on account of the needs of the diocese; 

4. by the vicar or prefect apostolic, the abbot or prelate 
nullius, though they do not have episcopal consecration, and 
they can give dimissorials also for major orders. 

The vicar capitular should not give dimissorials to those 
who were rejected by the former bishop. (Canon 958.) 

802. He who can give dimissorial letters for the recep 
tion of orders can also confer the orders himself, if he has the 
necessary power to confer orders. (Canon 959.) 

803. Dimissorial letters should not be granted until after 
all the prescribed testimonial letters have been received in accor 
dance with Canons 993-1000. 

If after the Ordinary has given the dimissorial letters new 
testimonial letters are necessary according to Canon 994, 3, 
the other bishop should not proceed with the ordination until he 
has received the testimonials. 

If the candidate has lived in the diocese of the ordaining 
bishop for the length of time sufficient to contract an impediment, 
according to Canon 994, the ordaining bishop himself should 
directly collect the testimonials. (Canon 960.) 

804. The dimissorial letters can be sent by the proper 
bishop, also by a suburban Cardinal-bishop, to any bishop in 
communion with the Holy See, with the exception of a bishop 
of a different Rite from that of the candidate for orders, unless 
an Apostolic indult has been obtained to send the candidates also 
to a bishop of a different Rite. (Canon 961.) 

805. Any bishop lawfully ordains a non-subject after hav 
ing received the dimissorial letters, provided he has no reason 
to doubt the genuineness of the letters. Canon 994, 3, must 
also be observed in the case mentioned there. (Canon 962.) 

806. The dimissorial letters may be limited or revoked 
by the person who issued them, as well as by his successor in 


office, but once they have been granted they do not expire with 
the loss of office by the grantor. (Canon 963.) 

807. In reference to the ordination of religious the fol 
lowing rules are to be observed : 

1. the regular abbot in charge of a monastery, even with 
out a territory nullius, can confer first tonsure and minor or 
ders, provided the candidate is his subject by virtue of at least 
simple profession, and that the abbot is a priest, and has legiti 
mately received the abbatial blessing. Otherwise the ordination 
given by the abbot is null and void, unless he is a consecrated 
bishop. All privileges to the contrary are revoked by the Code; 

2. the exempt religious cannot be lawfully ordained by any 
bishop without the dimissorials of their proper major superior; 

3. the superiors can give simple professed religious, to 
whom Canon 574 refers, dimissorial letters for first tonsure and 
minor orders only; 

4. the ordination of members of any other religious or 
ganizations is regulated by the law for seculars, and every priv 
ilege is revoked by which the superiors could give to the tem 
porary professed religious dimissorials for major orders. (Canon 

808. The bishop to whom the religious superior must send 
the dimissorial letters is the bishop of the diocese in which is 
situated the house where the candidate for ordination lives as a 
member of that community. (Canon 965.) 

809. The religious superior can send dimissorial letters 
to another bishop in the following cases; if the bishop of the 
diocese gives permission, if the bishop should be of a dif 
ferent Rite from that of the religious, if he is absent, if he will 
not have ordinations on the next ordination days (cf. Canon 
1006, 2), or, finally, if the diocese is vacant and the person 
in charge has no episcopal consecration. 

In each of these cases, however, the ordaining bishop must 
have an authentic statement from the episcopal Curia concern 
ing the reason why the religious may be sent outside the diocese 
for ordination. (Canon 966.) 

810. Religious superiors are forbidden to send their can 
didates for ordination to another house of the Order, thus de 
frauding the bishop of the diocese of his right, or to delay the 


ordination intentionally to such a time when the bishop will be 
absent or have no ordinations. (Canon 967.) 


The Subject of Sacred Ordination. 

811. A baptized man only can validly receive orders. For 
the licit reception the candidate must by the judgment of his own 
Ordinary have the qualifications required by the sacred Canons, 
and must not be under irregularity or any other impediment. 

Those who suffer from irregularity or any other impedi 
ment, although it arose after the ordination and without their 
fault, are forbidden to exercise the orders they have received. 
(Canon 968.) 

812. No secular shall be ordained, unless his own bishop 
judges him necessary or useful for the churches of the diocese. 

The bishop, however, is not forbidden to ordain his sub 
jects for the future service in another diocese, excardination and 
incardination having been legitimately made. ( Canon 969. ) 

813. The proper bishop and the major religious superior 
can forbid his clerics for any canonical reason, even occult ones, 
and without canonical trial, to receive higher orders. The cleric 
may have recourse to the Holy See, or also, in the case of a 
religious, to the Superior General. (Canon 970.) 

814. It is unlawful to force any one in any way, or for 
any reason, to embrace the clerical state, or to keep a properly 
qualified person from that state. (Canon 971.) 

815. Care should be taken to receive the aspirants to sacred 
orders into the seminary from tender age. All candidates must 
stay in the seminary at least for the entire course of theology, 
unless the Ordinary in particular cases dispenses from this rule 
for serious reasons. 

Those candidates for orders who, with the permission of 
the bishop live outside the seminary, are to be given into the care 
of a responsible priest who shall watch over them and instruct 
them in the virtues. (Canon 972.) 

Article I. Requisites for Candidates of Ordination. 

816. First tonsure and minor orders are to be given to 
those only who intend to ascend to the priesthood, and of whom 
one can reasonably expect that they will be worthy priests. 


The cleric who has received some of the orders, and re 
fuses to receive higher ones cannot be forced to it by the bishop, 
who neither can forbid him the exercise of the orders he has re 
ceived, unless he is under a canonical impediment, or there is, 
according to the bishop s judgment, another serious reason. 

The bishop should not confer major orders on any candi 
date unless he is certain from positive reasons that the candi 
date is canonically fit; otherwise the bishop does not only sin 
gravely, but also exposes himself to the danger of cooperating 
in the sins of another. (Canon 973.) 

817. In order that a candidate may be licitly ordained, the 
following is required : 

1. previous reception of Confirmation; 

2. good moral character concordant with the order to be 
received ; 

3. the canonical age; 

4. requisite knowledge; 

5. reception of inferior orders; 

6. observance of the intervals between orders; 

7. canonical title, if there is question of major orders. 

In the consecration of a bishop Canon 331 is to be observed. 
(Canon 974.) 

818. Subdeaconship is not to be given before the com 
pleted twenty-first year of age; deaconship not before the com 
pleted twenty-second; priesthood not before the completed 
twenty-fourth year of age. (Canon 975.) 

819. Neither seculars nor religious are to receive first ton 
sure before they commence the theological course. 

Provided the candidate has the required age, subdeaconship 
is not to be given until the end of the third year of the theological 
course; deaconship after the commencement of the fourth year; 
priesthood not until the beginning of the second semester of the 
fourth year. 

By special concession of the Holy See to the Church in the 
United States the course of theology has for the time of the war 
been shortened to three years. The raising of immense armies 
in which there is a great percentage of Catholic men, has necessi 
tated the appointment of hundreds of chaplains to attend to the 
spiritual needs of the men. The time for the major orders will 
have to be arranged accordingly. 

The theological course must not have been made privately, 


but in proper theological schools, according to the plan of studies 
prescribed by Canon 1365. (Canon 976.) 

820. The orders must be given in proper succession, so that 
the skipping of any is absolutely forbidden. (Canon 977.) 

821. In the ordinations the intervals of time between or 
ders is to be observed, during which the clerics shall, according 
to the bishop s regulations, exercise the orders received. 

The interval between the first tonsure and the first minor 
order, as well as the intervals between the individual minor or 
ders are left to the judgment of the bishop. Between the last 
minor order and subdeaconship there must be one year s interval, 
between subdeaconship and deaconship at least three months, 
unless the necessity or utility of the diocese, according to the 
bishop s judgment, demand otherwise. 

Without special permission of the Roman Pontiff, minor 
orders and subdeaconship, or two major orders, cannot be given 
on one and the same day ; all contrary custom is condemned. It 
is not even permitted to confer the tonsure and a minor order, 
or all minor orders on the same day. (Canon 978.) 

822. For the secular clergy the canonical title is the title 
of benefice, or in default of a benefice, the patrimony or pension. 

The title by which one is ordained must be really certain 
for the whole life of the cleric, and truly sufficient for his 
proper maintenance, according to the rules to be laid down by 
the Ordinaries for the various dioceses, and the conditions of 
time and circumstances. (Canon 979.) 

823. If the cleric in major orders should happen to lose 
his title, he must provide for himself another, unless his bishop 
judges that his proper maintenance is provided for in another 

The persons, who, without an Apostolic indult have know 
ingly ordained, or allowed to be ordained to major orders a sub 
ject without a canonical title, must assume obligation for them 
selves and for their successors, to furnish the needy cleric with 
proper sustenance, until other provision is made for his suitable 

If the bishop ordained a candidate without a canonical title 
under an agreement that the one ordained shall not ask him for 
maintenance, such agreement is null and void. (Canon 980.) 

824. If there is none of the titles of ordination, spoken of 


in Canon 979, 1, it may be supplied by the title of "service of 
the diocese/ and in places subject to the Propaganda the 
candidates may be ordained by the title of the mission, in 
which case, however, the candidate must promise under oath 
to serve the diocese or the mission forever, under the author 
ity of the local Ordinary. 

The Ordinary must give to the priest, who was promoted to 
major orders under the title of the service of the diocese or the 
mission, a benefice or office or support sufficient for his suitable 
maintenance. (Canon 981.) 

825. For regulars the canonical title is the solemn religious 
profession, which is called the title of poverty. 

For religious with perpetual simple vows, the title of mensa 
communis, or congregations, or a similar one, according to their 

All other religious are, also in reference to the title, gov 
erned by the law for seculars. (Canon 982.) 

Article II. Irregularities and Other Impediments. 

826. No perpetual impediment, called in law irregularity, 
whether ex defectu or ex delicto, is contracted unless it is ex 
pressly contained in the following Canons. (Canon 983.) 

827. The following persons are irregular ex defectu: 

1. illegitimates, both of public and occult illegitimacy, un 
less they have been legitimized or have made solemn profession. 
Canon 1116 explains in which cases illegitimate children are 
legitimized by subsequent marriage; 

2. bodily defective men who, on account of debility can 
not safely, or for reason of deformity with due dignity, engage 
in the sacred ministry of the altar. To impede the exercise of 
lawfully received orders, a greater defect is required, and actions 
that can be properly performed are not forbidden by a superven 
ing defect; 

3. epileptics, insane, possessed by the devil, who are or 
have been thus afflicted. If after reception of orders they be 
came thus afflicted, but later on the malady beyond doubt dis 
appeared, the Ordinary may again allow his subjects the exer 
cise of the orders they received ; 

4. bigamists, by which the law understands men who con 
tracted successively two or more valid marriages. This explana- 


tion the Code gives of bigamy settles questions of irregularity 
arising from the bigamia inter preiaiiva, or any other; 

5. persons who have incurred by law the loss of good repu 
tation ; 

6. a judge who has pronounced the sentence of death 
against some individual brought to trial. This irregularity is 
known under the name of defectus lenitatis in former commen 
taries of law; 

7. persons who held the office of executioner, and those 
who, of their own accord, undertook the office of immediate as 
sistants in the execution of a death sentence. Policemen and 
others, that might be ordered to assist at and help in the execu 
tion of a criminal, are not voluntary assistants. (Canon 984.) 
It may be noted that the Code makes no mention of the former 
irregularity or defect arising from voluntary service in a just 
offensive war for all who killed or mutilated another in that 

828. The following persons are irregular by crime (ex 
delict o) : 

1. apostates from the faith, heretics, schismatics; 

2. men, who, outside the case of extreme necessity, al 
lowed themselves in any way to be baptized by non-Catholics; 

3. married men, clerics in major orders, religious with 
solemn or simple perpetual or temporary vows, who attempt mar 
riage or go through the civil formalities of marriage, and men 
who attempt marriage with a validly married woman, or with 
a sister bound by either perpetual or temporary vows ; 

4. voluntary murderers, and those who procure abortion, 
if effective, and all cooperators. (The common teaching of 
canonists held that all soldiers who took part in an unjust war 
and either killed or personally cooperated in the killing of 
others were irregular. The Code speaks only of voluntary mur 
derers. In a war which is known to be unjust those who volun 
teer for service and are instrumental in killing others are fall 
ing under the term of "voluntary murderers," while those who 
are forced to take part in such a war could not be called volun 
tary participants) ; 

5. men who mutilated themselves or others, and those who 
attempted suicide; 

6. clerics practicing medicine or surgery forbidden to 
them, if thereby the death of a person is caused; 


7. men who usurp the exercise of an act of orders re 
served to clerics in sacred orders, and also clerics in sacred or 
ders who exercise such an act of major orders after they have 
been forbidden to do so by canonical penalty, either personal or 
local, corrective or punitive. (Canon 985.) 

829. These crimes do not bring on irregularity unless they 
are mortal sins, committed after Baptism, or in Baptism as men 
tioned in Canon 985, 1, and external acts, either public or 
occult. (Canon 986.) 

830. Simply forbidden to be ordained are the following: 

1. the sons of non-Catholics, as long as their parents per 
severe in their error ; 

2. married men for the time of their marriage; 

3. officials and administrators having an office forbidden 
to clerics, until they have resigned their office and settled all re 
sponsibility arising from such office or employment ; 

4. slaves, properly so called, before they have obtained 
their liberty; 

5. men bound to the ordinary military service by the civil 
law may not be ordained until they have served their term ; 

6. neophytes, until they are according to the judgment of 
the bishop sufficiently tried in their faith; 

7. those who are in ill repute on account of some public 
crime, until they have according to the bishop s judgment re 
gained their good reputation. (Canon 987.) 

831. Ignorance of the irregularities both ex delict o and 
ex defectu and of the impediments is not admitted as an excuse. 
(Canon 988.) 

832. The irregularities and impediments are multiplied by 
the multiplication of the causes of irregularities or impediments, 
but the repetition of the same cause does not multiply the irregu 
larity except in the case of deliberate homicide. (Canon 989.) 

833. The Ordinaries are allowed to dispense their subjects, 
or delegate others to dispense, from all irregularities incurred by 
secret crime except deliberate homicide and effective procuration 
of abortion, and other crimes brought before court. 

The confessor also has this faculty in more urgent occult 
cases, in which the Ordinary cannot be asked, and there is im 
minent danger of great harm or of infamy, which faculty can 


be made use of only for the purpose that the penitent may licitly 
exercise the orders he has already received. (Canon 990.) 

834. In the petition for dispensation from irregularities 
and impediments, all irregularities and impediments must be spe 
cified, otherwise a general dispensation will be valid for irregu 
larities concealed in good faith, except voluntary homicide and 
effective abortion, but it will not be valid for those concealed 
in bad faith. 

If there is question of voluntary homicide, the number of 
crimes must be mentioned under pain of invalidity of the dis 

A dispensation from irregularities to receive orders is gen 
erally valid also for major orders, and the one dispensed can 
obtain non-consistorial benefices, even those to which the care 
of souls is attached, but he cannot be made a Cardinal, bishop, 
abbot or prelate nullhts, nor major superior in clerical exempt 

A dispensation from irregularities given in the internal, 
extra-sacramental forum must be given in writing, and note 
must be made of it in the secret records of the Curia of the re 
spective Ordinary. (Canon 991.) 

Requisites Prior to the Ordination. 

835. All candidates, both secular and regular, must in due 
time manifest their intention to receive orders to the bishop, 
or to others, who, in this matter take the place of the bishop. 
(Canon 992.) 

836. The seculars, and those religious who, in the matter 
of ordination are held to the laws for seculars (cf. Canon 964), 

1. have the certificate of their last ordination, or if they 
are to receive first tonsure, the baptismal and Confirmation cer 
tificates ; 

2. the certificate of studies required for the various orders, 
according to Canon 976; 

3. the testimonials of the rector of the seminary, or of the 
priest in charge of those who do not board in the seminary, to 
testify to their good moral standing; 

4. the testimonials of every Ordinary in whose diocese the 


candidate has stayed for such a length of time that he could 
contract a canonical impediment (cf. Canon 994) ; 

5. the testimonials of the major superior, if the candidate 
is a religious. (Canon 993.) 

837. The time in which a candidate may have contracted 
a canonical impediment, means a period of three months for 
soldiers, six months for others after their fourteenth year of 
age. The bishop can, however, demand testimonials also for a 
shorter period and for the time prior to the age of puberty. 

If the bishop in whose diocese a candidate has lived for a 
while, cannot ascertain anything definite about the behavior of 
the young man in question, so that he cannot testify that he did 
not incur a canonical impediment, or if the candidate has been 
living for a short time in so many dioceses that it would be either 
impossible or at least very difficult to obtain all the testimonials, 
the ordaining bishop shall demand of the candidate a so-called 
supplementary oath to prove that he is free from irregularity. 

If, after the testimonials were obtained and before ordina 
tion took place, the candidate did again live in the territory of 
the bishop who issued the testimonials, new testimonials are nec 
essary if the stay extended for three or six months, as the case 
may be. (Canon 994.) 

838. The religious superior must attest in his dimissorial 
letters not only that the candidate for orders has made profes 
sion and is a member of the community in the diocese, but also 
concerning the requisite studies and other requirements of law. 

The bishop who has received these dimissorial letters does 
not need any other testimonial letters. ( Canon 995. ) 

839. Every candidate, whether secular or religious, must 
before ordination undergo an examination concerning the order 
which he is to receive. 

Those to be promoted to major orders shall have to take an 
examination also in other tracts of sacred theology. 

The bishop has the right to determine the method of exam 
ination and the subject-matter in which candidates are to be ex 
amined. (Canon 996.) 

840. This examination of both, secular and religious can 
didates, is to be made before the bishop of the diocese who has 
by law the right to ordain, or who gives dimissorials to his sub 
jects; he may also for a good reason leave it to the ordaining 
bishop, if the latter is willing to attend to this matter. 


The bishop who ordains the subjects of another, whether 
secular or religious, with the dimissorial letters of their superiors 
in which they testify that the candidates have successfully passed 
the examination demanded by the first paragraph of this Canon, 
may accept this statement, but he is not obliged to do so; if he 
conscientiously believes that a certain candidate is not qualified 
he should not promote him. (Canon 997.) 

841. The names of the candidates for major orders, with 
the exception of religious in solemn or perpetual simple vows, 
should be announced in the parishes to which the candidates be 
long. The bishop may for good reasons dispense with the pub 
lication, or may demand that it be published also in other 
churches, or that in place of an announcement the names be 
posted at the door of the church and left there for several days, 
including at least one Sunday or holiday of obligation. 

The publication is to be made on a Sunday or holiday of 
obligation in the parochial Mass, or on another occasion when 
there is a large gathering of people in church. 

If the ordination has not taken place within six months 
after the publication, it must be repeated unless the Ordinary 
dispenses. ( Canon 998. ) 

842. All the faithful are obliged in conscience to make 
known to the bishop or the pastor any impediment they may 
know of concerning the candidates. (Canon 999.) 

843. The Ordinary may demand of the pastor who has to 
make the publication, or of any other priest, to make a careful 
investigation concerning the character of the candidate, and to 
send the statement to the episcopal Curia. 

The Ordinary should not fail to make private investiga 
tion, if he judge this necessary or advisable. (Canon 1000.) 

844. The candidates for first tonsure and for minor orders 
shall make at least three full days of retreat, candidates for 
major orders at least six days. If within six months a candi 
date receives several major orders, the bishop can reduce tfte 
days of retreat for deaconship to not less than three full days. 

If after the end of the retreat ordination is delayed for any 
reason for more than six months, the retreat must be made over 
again; in shorter delays the Ordinary shall decide whether it 
should be repeated. 

This retreat is to be made by the religious in their own house 


or in another, according to the superior s judgment; the seculars 
shall make it in the seminary, or another place appointed by the 

The bishop is to receive a statement from the superior of 
the house of retreat that the candidates have duly made the exer 
cises, and in the case of religious their own major superior shall 
make the statement. ( Canon 1 00 1 . ) 

The Rites and Ceremonies of Ordination. 

845. In conferring any of the orders the bishop must faith 
fully follow the order of ceremonies laid down in the Roman 
Pontifical and other approved liturgical books. (Canon 1002.) 

846. The Mass of ordination and of consecration of a 
bishop must always be said by the ordaining or consecrating 
bishop. (Canon 1003.) 

847. If a cleric has received some orders in an Oriental 
Rite, and afterwards obtains an indult of the Holy See to re 
ceive further orders in the Latin Rite, he must first receive those 
orders of the Latin Rite which are not given in the Oriental 
Rite. (Canon 1004.) 

848. All those who are promoted -to major orders are 
obliged to receive holy Communion in the Mass of ordination. 
(Canon 1005.) 


Time and Place of Ordination. 

849. Episcopal consecration must be given in Holy Mass 
on a Sunday or a feast of the Apostles. 

Major orders must be given in Holy Mass on the Ember 
Saturdays, Saturday before Passion Sunday, or Holy Saturday. 

For grave reasons the bishop may give major orders on any 
Sunday or holiday of obligation. 

First Tonsure can be given any day and hour ; minor orders 
on all Sundays and feasts of the rank of doubles, but only in 
the forenoon. 

Customs to ordain at other times than specified in this Canon 
are disapproved and abolished. These times must be observed 
also by a bishop of the Latin Rite who, by Apostolic indult, or 
dains a cleric of an Oriental Rite, and vice versa. (Canon 1006.) 


850. Whenever an ordination has to be repeated, or some 
ceremonies are to be supplied, whether absolutely or condi 
tionally, it can be done also outside the prescribed ordination 
days and in secret. (Canon 1007.) 

851. A bishop cannot, outside his own diocese, without 
permission of the local Ordinary, give those orders which require 
the use of the mitre and crozier. The Cardinals have the priv 
ilege of performing pontifical functions in any diocese, and need 
but notify the local Ordinary, if they wish to pontificate in the 
Cathedral, as Canon 239, 1, n. 15, decrees. (Canon 1008.) 

852. The general ordinations should be held publicly in 
the cathedral church, in the presence of the cathedral Chapter; 
if they are held in another place of the diocese, the more promi 
nent church should be selected, and the clergy of the place should 
be present. 

The bishop is not forbidden, when occasion demands, to 
have special ordinations in other churches, or in the chapel of 
the episcopal residence, in the seminary, or in a religious house. 

The first tonsure and the minor orders may be conferred 
also in private oratories. (Canon 1009.) 


Record and Testimonial of Ordination. 

853. After ordination the names of those ordained, of the 
minister of ordination, also place and date, shall be recorded 
in a book specially set apart for that purpose in the episcopal 
Curia, and all the documents required in the various ordinations 
shall be preserved. 

To each of the ordained clerics an authentic certificate of 
the orders received shall be given, which, if they were ordained 
by a strange bishop with dimissorials from their own, they shall 
show to their Ordinary so that record of the ordination be made 
in the episcopal Curia. (Canon 1010.) 

854. The Ordinary in the case of seculars, the major su 
perior in the case of religious, ordained with his dimissorials, 
shall send notice to the pastors where those have been baptized 
who were ordained subdeacons, that the ordination may be en 
tered in the baptismal record as Canon 470, 2, demands. 
(Canon 1011.) 



The Sacrament of Marriage. 

855. Christ the Lord himself raised the matrimonial con 
tract among baptized people to the dignity of a Sacrament. 

Wherefore, among baptized people there can be no valid 
marriage contract unless it is at the same time a Sacrament. 
(Canon 1012.) 

856. The primary object of marriage is the procreation 
and education of offspring; the secondary purpose is mutual as 
sistance and the remedy of concupiscence. 

The essential qualities of marriage are unity and indissolu- 
bility, which in the Christian marriage receives their peculiar 
firmness by reason of the Sacrament. (Canon 1013.) 

857. Marriage is favored in law, wherefore in a doubt the 
law insists on the validity of marriage until the contrary is 
proved. The exception to this rule in reference to the Pauline 
privilege will be seen in Canon 1127. (Canon 1014.) 

858. The valid marriage of baptized people is called matri- 
monium ratiim before its completion by the conjugal intercourse; 
and ratiim et consummatum, if conjugal intercourse to which 
marriage of its nature tends has taken place, and by which the 
married become one flesh. 

If after the conclusion of the marriage contract the parties 
have lived together, consummation of the marriage is presumed 
in law until the contrary is proved. 

Valid marriage of unbaptized parties is called matrimonium 

Invalid marriage is called matrimonium putativum, if it was 
contracted in good faith by at least one of the parties, until such 
time that both parties become certain of the invalidity of their 
marriage. (Canon 1015.) 

859. The marriage of baptized persons is regulated not 
only by the Divine law, but also by Canon Law, saving the com 
petency of the civil power over the merely civil consequences of 
the marriage contract. (Canon 1016.) 

860. The promise of marriage, whether one-sided, or bi 
lateral, is null and void in either form unless it is made in writing 
and signed by the parties and either the pastor, or the local Ordi 
nary, or at least two witnesses. 


If either one or both parties do not know how to write, or 
cannot write, as for instance, in accidents that injured the hand, 
etc., it is required for the validity of the engagement contract 
to note in the document the inability to write, and to employ an 
extra witness who shall sign the paper in addition to the persons 
mentioned in the preceding paragraph. 

The engagement to marry, though it be valid, and there be 
no just cause to shrink from its fulfilment, does not in law ad 
mit of action in the ecclesiastical court to force the other party 
to marriage. Action for possible injury done by the unjust 
breaking of the engagement is admitted in the ecclesiastical court. 
(Canon 1017.) 

861. The pastor should not omit to prudently teach the 
people what they ought to know about marriage and its impedi 
ments. (Canon 1018.) 

Requisites before Marriage and specially the Banns. 

862. Before marriage is contracted it must be certain that 
there are no obstacles to its valid and licit celebration. 

In danger of death, if other proofs are not available, and 
there are no indications to the contrary, the sworn affirmation 
of the parties that they are baptized, and that there is no impedi 
ment to their marriage, suffices. (Canon 1019.) 

863. The pastor whom the law entitles to assist at the 
marriage shall in good time inquire whether there is any impedi 
ment to the marriage. 

He should ask separately both the man and the woman 
whether they are under any impediment, whether they freely 
consent to the marriage, especially the woman, and whether they 
are sufficiently instructed in Christian doctrine, unless he knows 
otherwise that they are well instructed in their religion. 

The bishop of the diocese has the right to prescribe special 
regulations for this examination of parties before their marriage. 
(Canon 1020.) 

864. Unless the parties were baptized in his own parish, 
the pastor must get the baptismal certificate of the parties, or of 
the Catholic party only in the case of a Catholic and an unbap- 


tized party to be married with the dispensation from disparity 
of cult. 

Catholics who have not yet received Confirmation should 
first receive that Sacrament, if they can do so without great in 
convenience. (Canon 1021.) 

865. The pastor should announce publicly the parties to 
be married. (Canon 1022.) 

866. The banns of marriage are to be announced by the 
proper pastor of the parties. 

If a party has lived in some other place for six months after 
the age of puberty, the pastor should refer the matter to the 
bishop, who may either have the banns announced in that place, 
or otherwise order investigations made concerning the free state 
of the party. 

If there is any suspicion of some impediment, the pastor 
should refer the matter to the bishop even though the party has 
been living less than six months in another place, and the Ordi 
nary should not permit the marriage until all suspicion is re 
moved by thorough investigation. (Canon 1023.) 

867. The publication of the banns is to be made in church 
on three successive Sunday or holidays of obligation, during the 
Mass or at other services that are largely attended. (Canon 

868. The Ordinary may also substitute in his diocese an 
other form of publishing the banns, by posting the names of the 
parties at the church doors and leaving them there for at least 
eight days, during which there must be two Sundays or holidays 
of obligation. (Canon 1025.) 

869. Publication of the banns should be omitted in mar 
riages contracted with dispensation from either disparity of cult 
or mixed religion, unless the Ordinary judges that it should be 
permitted. This permission, however, can be given only when 
there is no scandal, and after Apostolic dispensation from the 
impediment has been obtained, and no reference is to be made to 
the religion of the non-Catholic. (Canon 1026.) 

870. All the faithful are obliged in conscience to manifest 
either to the pastor or to the bishop any impediment they may 
know concerning the marriage of the parties that are announced, 
(Canon 1027.) 

871. The proper bishop of the contracting parties can for 


legitimate reasons dispense from the publication of the banns, not 
only in his own diocese, but also in the diocese where the parties 
formerly lived. 

If the parties belong to two different dioceses, the bishop 
in whose diocese the marriage is to take place has the right to 
dispense. If the marriage is to be contracted outside either of 
the two dioceses, either bishop is competent to dispense. (Canon 

872. If another pastor examined the parties and announced 
the banns, he should inform the pastor who is to assist at the mar 
riage concerning these affairs. (Canon 1029.) 

873. After the examination of tke parties and the procla 
mation of the banns the pastor should not assist at the marriage 
unless he has received whatever papers may be necessary, and 
wait three days after the last calling out of the banns, unless there 
is good reason to dispense with this rule. 

If marriage was delayed for six months after the announce 
ment of the banns, they must be repeated, unless the Ordinary de 
cides otherwise. (Canon 1030.) 

874. 1. The following rules are to be observed when 
doubt arises as to some impediment : 

1. the pastor shall investigate the matter more accurately, 
and ask at least two trustworthy witnesses to make statement 
under oath, provided there is not question of an impediment 
that would bring disgrace upon the parties, and if necessary he 
may also put the parties under oath to make statement concern 
ing the doubtful impediment; 

2. he should continue or finish the announcing of the banns, 
if the doubt arose before the banns were published or during 
the time of their publication; 

3. he should not assist at the marriage without consulting 
the bishop, if the doubt still continues. 

2. When an impediment has been discovered with cer 
tainty : 

1. if the impediment is secret, the pastor should continue 
the publication of the banns and refer the matter to the bishop or 
to the Sacred Penitentiary, not giving the names of the parties; 

2. if the impediment is public and is discovered before the 
publication of the banns has been made, the pastor shall not an 
nounce the banns until the impediment is removed, though he may 


know that a dispensation was obtained, but only for the internal 
forum. If the impediment is detected after the first or second 
publication of the banns, the pastor should finish the publication 
and refer the matter to the bishop. 

3. If there is neither a certain nor doubtful impediment, 
the pastor should admit the parties to the marriage contract 
when the publication of the banns is finished. (Canon 1031.) 

875. The pastor shall not assist at the marriage of vagi, 
(Canon 91, explains who are called vagi in law) except in a 
case of necessity, without referring the matter to the Ordinary 
or a priest delegated by him for that purpose, and obtaining per 
mission to assist at such marriages. (Canon 1032.) 

876. The pastor shall not neglect to teach the parties to 
be married the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage, the mu 
tual obligations of married people and the duty of parents to 
ward the offspring. He shall also admonish them to make a 
good confession and receive holy Communion before marriage. 
(Canon 1033.) 

877. The pastor shall earnestly warn young people not to 
contract marriage against reasonable objections of their parents. 
If they nevertheless persist, against the lawful objection of their 
parents, the pastor shall not marry them, but refer the matter 
to the bishop, (Canon 1034.) 

Impediments in General. 

878. All persons may contract marriage unless forbidden 
by law. (Canon 1035.) 

879. An impedient impediment contains a grave prohibi 
tion to contract marriage, but it does not invalidate a marriage 
contracted with such an impediment. 

A diriment impediment does not only forbid the marriage, 
but makes its celebration null and void. 

Though the impediment may be on the part of only one of 
the parties, marriage is nevertheless either illicit, or invalid, for 
both. (Canon 1036.) 

880. An impediment is considered public in law when it 
can be proved in the external forum; otherwise it is occult. 
(Canon 1037.) 


881. The supreme authority of the Church alone has the 
right to authentically declare in what cases the Divine law for 
bids or annuls a marriage. 

The same supreme authority has the exclusive right to con 
stitute for the baptized people other impedient and diriment im 
pediments of marriage, either by universal or particular law. 
(Canon 1038.) 

882. The bishops can forbid any one actually staying in 
their diocese, and their subjects also while they are outside the 
diocese, to marry, if there is some special reason, and for the time 
that the reason lasts. 

The Holy See alone can attach to its prohibition the pain of 
invalidity. (Canon 1039.) 

883. The Roman Pontiff alone can abolish or modify the 
impedient or diriment impediments of marriage in the legislation 
of the Church, and no one else can dispense in these laws except 
in as far as is conceded to him either in the common law or by 
special indult of the Holy See. (Canon 1040.) 

884. Custom introducing a new impediment of marriage 
or tending to change the existing impediments is disapproved by 
the Code. (Canon 1041.) 

885. There are impediments of major and of minor degree. 
Impediments of minor degree are the following : 

1. consanguinity in the third degree of the collateral line; 

2. affinity in the second degree of the collateral line; 

3. public honesty, in the second degree; 

4. spiritual relationship; 

5. the impediment of crime, arising from adultery with 
promise of marriage, or attempted civil marriage. 

All other impediments are of major degree. (Canon 1042.) 

886. In urgent danger of death the Ordinaries can, for the 
sake of conscience and for the purpose of legitimizing offspring, 
dispense from the form of the contract as well as from any and 
all impediments of ecclesiastical law, public and occult as well 
as multiple, with the exception of impediments arising from the 
sacred priesthood and from the affinity in the direct line arising 
from consummated marriage. This dispensation they can apply 
to their subjects wherever these are at the time, and to all who 
actually are in the territory of their diocese; scandal must, of 
course, be removed and in case the dispensation is granted for 


disparity of cult, or mixed religion, the prescribed promises must 
be made. (Canon 1043.) 

887. In the same circumstances as mentioned in the pre 
ceding Canon, and only when danger is so urgent that there is 
no time to approach the Ordinary, the pastor or priest who as 
sists at the marriage, in accordance with Canon 1098, n. 2, and 
also the confessor, but the latter only for the internal forum and 
in sacramental confession, have the same faculties as those given 
to the bishops in the foregoing Canon. (Canon 1044.) 

888. The Ordinaries can, under the conditions stated at 
the end of Canon 1043, if the impediment is discovered only after 
everything has been prepared for the marriage and the ceremony 
cannot be delayed until dispensation from the Holy See can be 
obtained without probable danger of great evil, grant dispensa 
tion from all the impediments mentioned in Canon 1043. 

This faculty holds good also for the convalidation of a mar 
riage already contracted, if delay is dangerous and there is not 
sufficient time to recur to the Holy See. 

In the same circumstances all priests mentioned in Canon 
1044 have the same faculties in occult cases and in emergencies 
when there is no time to recur to the bishop, or only with danger 
of violating the seal of confession. (Canon 1045.) 

889. The pastor or priest spoken of in Canon 1044 who 
has granted a dispensation for the external forum shall at once 
inform the Ordinary of this fact and the dispensation shall be 
noted in the marriage record of the parish to which the parties 
belong. (Canon 1046.) 

890. Unless the rescript of the Sacred Penitentiary con 
tains other directions, it shall be the rule that dispensations 
granted by this tribunal for the internal, extra-sacramental, 
forum are to be recorded in the secret archives of the episcopal 
Curia, and there is no need of another dispensation if afterwards 
the impediment becomes public ; if the dispensation was granted 
for the internal sacramental forum only, a new dispensation 
would be required should the impediment become public. (Canon 

891. If the petition for a dispensation has been sent to the 
Holy See, the Ordinaries should not in that case make use of 
their faculties, except for a serious and urgent reason, in such 


case reporting to the Holy See what they have done in the emer 
gency. (Canon 1048.) 

892. In marriages, whether contracted or to be contracted, 
he who has a general indult of dispensing from some certain 
impediment, can dispense from it even though the same impedi 
ment is multiple, unless it is stated differently in the indult. 

He who has a general indult to dispense from several im 
pediments of various species, either diriment or impedient, can 
dispense from these impediments though they be public and oc 
cur in one and the same case. (Canon 1049.) 

893. If he who has a general indult to dispense from 
several public impediments meets with a case where there is 
also another impediment from which he cannot dispense, he must 
ask the Holy See for dispensation from all impediments in the 
case. If, however, the impediment or impediments from which 
he can dispense are found out only after dispensation has been 
obtained from the Holy See, he may make use of his faculties. 
(Canon 1050.) 

894. By a dispensation from an impediment, granted 
either by ordinary power, or by delegation in the form of a gen 
eral indult, the legitimation of the offspring, if the offspring is 
already born or conceived, is ipso facto granted, with the excep 
tion of adulterous or sacrilegious offspring. If dispensation is 
granted by rescript in particular cases, the legitimation is not 
given ipso facto, but must be specially asked for and obtained. 
One and the same rescript may, however, contain both the dis 
pensation and the legitimation of offspring. (Canon 1051.) 

895. The dispensation from the impediment of consan 
guinity and affinity given for some degree is valid although in 
the petition or in the concession there is an error concerning the 
degree, provided the degree that actually exists is inferior, or the 
impediment which was concealed is of the same species and of 
equal or inferior degree. (Canon 1052.) 

896. The dispensation given by the Holy See from the 
matrimonium ratum non consummatum, or the permission to 
marry again on account of the presumed death of the first part 
ner, always includes the dispensation from the impediment of 
crime committed by adultery, and the promise of, or attempt at, 
marriage, if there is need of such a dispensation, but the impedi 
ment of crime incurred by adultery and the killing of the partner 


by one of the adulterers, or by mutual cooperation of both, is not 
ipso facto included in the above dispensation, but must be spe 
cially obtained. (Canon 1053.) 

897. The dispensation from an impediment of lesser de 
gree (cf. Canon 1042) is not invalidated by positive lie or by 
concealing the truth, even though the only motive reason ad 
vanced in the petition be false. (Canon 1054.) 

898. Dispensations from public impediments committed by 
the Holy See to the Ordinary of the petitioners shall be executed 
by the Ordinary who gave letters of recommendation to the peti 
tioner of the dispensation, or who forwarded the petition to the 
Holy See, though by the time the dispensation arrives they have 
left the former diocese in which they had a domicile or quasi- 
domicile with the intention not to return; the Ordinary of the 
place, however, where they are to contract the marriage is to be 
advised of the dispensation which was granted by the Holy See. 
(Canon 1055.) 

899. With the exception of a small charge for the neces 
sary expenses of the chancery office for dispensations of those 
who are not poor, the bishop of the diocese and his officials are 
not permitted to demand any fee on occasion of granting a dis 
pensation, unless the Holy See shall have explicitly given them 
this right; if they nevertheless exact any fee, they are held to 
restitution. All customs contrary to this rule are disapproved 
by the Code. (Canon 1056.) 

900. The person who grants a dispensation in virtue of 
delegated powers received from the Holy See, must make ex 
plicit mention of the papal indult in granting the dispensation. 
(Canon 1057.) 

It may be noted in connection with the question of dis 
pensation from impediments of marriage that a recent decree 
of the Consistorial Congregation, April 25, 1918, has revoked 
the special faculties which the bishops used to get for three, five, 
or ten years. Several of these faculties referred to dispensation 
from marriage impediments. The Code, in Canons 1043-1045, 
gives the bishop the necessary faculties in urgent cases, and the 
mentioned decree grants to the bishops in America, the Philip 
pine Islands, East Indies, Africa beyond the places along the 
Mediterranean Sea, and Russia, for five years, beginning with 
May 18, 1918, faculty to dispense from the impediments of 


lesser degree mentioned in Canon 1042, and the sanatio In radice 
for marriages contracted invalidly on account of these impedi 
ments. The party who knows of the invalidity of the marriage 
is to be informed of the effects of the sanatio. Furthermore, the 
same Ordinaries receive faculty for five years to dispense from 
the impediments of major degree induced by Canon Law, either 
public or occult, and also multiple, with the exception of the 
priesthood and the affinity in the direct line after the consumma 
tion of marriage, and also from the impedient impediment of 
mixed religion, if after the petition for dispensation has been 
sent to the Holy See an urgent reason comes up making it neces 
sary to grant the dispensation at once. (Acta Apost. Sedis, vol. 
X. pag, 190.) 


Impedient Impediments. 

901. Marriage is forbidden to those who have made the 
simple vozv of virginity, of perfect chastity, not to marry, to re 
ceive major orders, or, to embrace religious life. 

No simple vow invalidates marriage, unless invalidity has 
been attached to it by the Holy See for some Order, congrega 
tion, etc. (Canon 1058.) 

902. In those countries where by the civil law marriage 
is forbidden on account of legal adoption, marriage is also by 
Canon Law illicit. (Canon 1059.) 

903. The Church forbids most severely and in all coun 
tries marriage between a Catholic and an heretic, or schismatic. 
If there is danger of perversion for the Catholic party and the 
offspring, such marriage is also forbidden by the Divine law. 
(Canon 1060.) 

904. The Church does not dispense from the impediment 
of mixed religion unless : 

1. there are good and serious reasons; 

2. the non-Catholic party promises to remove all danger 
of perversion of the Catholic party, and both parties promise 
that all their children shall be baptized and brought up as 
Catholics ; 

3. there is moral certainty that the promises will be kept. 
The promises are, as a rule, to be made in writing. (Canon 1061.) 


905. The Catholic party has the obligation to prudently 
work for the conversion of the non-Catholic. (Canon 1062.) 

906. When the Church has given the dispensation from 
the impediment of mixed religion, the parties are not allowed, 
either before or after the Catholic wedding, to approach either 
in person or through proxies a non-Catholic minister as such, to 
give or renew the consent in the Protestant Rite. 

If the pastor knows that the parties will certainly violate 
or have already violated this law, he shall not assist at their mar 
riage, except for very serious reasons, and only after scandal 
has been removed, and the Ordinary has been consulted. 

The Church does not censure parties who are forced by 
civil law to appear before a non-Catholic minister, who acts as 
an official of the government, but their intention must be to 
merely comply with the requirements of law and to gain the 
civil recognition of their marriage. (Canon 1063.) 

907. Bishops and other pastors of souls shall : 

1. deter the faithful as much as they can from mixed 
marriages ; 

2. if they cannot prevent them altogether they should by 
all means see to it that they are not contracted against the laws 
of God and of the Church; 

3. watch that those who contracted a mixed marriage in 
their own place, or come from other places, live up to their 
promises ; 

4. when assisting at a mixed marriage they shall observe 
Canon 1102, which demands that in such case no sacred cere 
monies shall be made use of in witnessing the marriage contract. 
(Canon 1064.) 

908. The faithful should likewise be discouraged from 
contracting marriage with those who have publicly given up the 
Catholic faith, though they have not joined a non-Catholic 
church, and with those who belong to societies condemned by the 

The pastor shall not assist at such marriages without con 
sulting his bishop, who, considering all circumstances, may per 
mit him to assist at such a marriage, provided there are serious 
reasons, if the Ordinary has good grounds to believe that the 
Catholic education of the children is sufficiently certain, and that 


about the death of his, or her, partner in marriage by physical or 
moral cooperation of the accomplice. (Canon 1075.) 

919. The impediment of consanguinity is defined as fol 

1. in the direct line of consanguinity marriage is invalid be 
tween persons of all degrees, for the legitimate descendants as well 
as the natural ; 

2. in the collateral or branch lines marriage is invalid to 
the third degree inclusively, in such a manner, however, that the 
impediment is multiplied only as often as the common progenitors 
are multiplied. (Cf. Canon 96 for further details on consan 
guinity) ; 

3. marriage shall never be allowed if there is any doubt as 
to whether the parties are of blood relation in any degree of the 
direct line, or in the first degree of the collateral line. (Canon 

920. The impediment of affinity : 

1. invalidates marriage in any degree of the direct line, 
and in the collateral line to the second degree inclusively (Canon 
97 explains how affinity arises, and according to this Canon the 
former impediment of affinity from sinful intercourse is 
dropped) ; 

2. the affinity is multiplied ( 1 ) as often as the impediment 
of consanguinity from which the affinity proceeds is multiplied; 
(2) by repeated successive marriage with a blood relation of the 
deceased partner in marriage. (Canon 1077.) 

921. The impediment of public honesty arises from invalid 
marriage, whether consummated or otherwise, and from public 
and notorious concubinage. Marriage is invalidated in the first 
and second degree of the direct line between the man and blood 
relations of the woman, and vice versa. (Canon 1078.) The 
impediment from valid engagement is, therefore, abolished. 

922. The spiritual relationship mentioned in Canon 768 
only invalidates marriage between those who contracted spiritual 
affinity in Baptism, namely between the person baptized, on the 
one hand, and the minister and the sponsors on the other. 
(Canon 1079.) 

923. Those who by the civil law are declared incapable to 
marry on account of legal adoption, cannot equally under Canon 
Law contract valid marriage. The Church, therefore, in this 


particular impediment adopts the civil law and makes it also her 
own. To know whether there is a diriment impediment of re 
lationship by adoption, and how far it extends, must be learned 
from the statute law of individual States. (Canon 1080.) 

The Matrimonial Consent. 

924. Marriage is effected by legally manifested consent of 
the parties qualified thereto by law, which consent cannot be sup 
plied by any human authority. 

The matrimonial consent is an act of the will, by which 
either party gives and accepts the right to the body, a right both 
perpetual and exclusive, for the purpose of performing the 
actions apt by their nature to procreate children. (Canon 1081. ) 

925. The matrimonial consent cannot be validly given unless 
the contracting parties know at least that marriage is a permanent 
union between man and woman, for the purpose of generating 

Ignorance concerning the nature of marriage is not pre 
sumed by law in persons who have attained puberty. (Canon 

926. Error concerning the individual person with whom 
one is to contract marriage renders marriage null and void. 

Error concerning any quality of the person, though such 
quality caused one to contract marriage, renders marriage invalid 
only in two cases: (1) If the error concerning a certain quality 
amounts to an error of the person; (2) if one contracts with a 
person who was believed to be free when he, or she, is in fact a 
slave properly so-called in countries where slavery still exists. 
(Canon 1083.) 

927. The mere error concerning the unity and indissolu- 
bility, or sacramental dignity of marriage does not annul the 
matrimonial consent, even if such error caused the consent. 
(Canon 1084.) 

928. The knowledge or opinion of the nullity of marriage 
does not necessarily exclude matrimonial consent. (Canon 

929. The internal consent of the mind is always presumed 
to correspond with the words or signs by which consent is mani 
fested in the celebration of marriage. 


the danger of perversion of the Catholic party is removed. 
(Canon 1065.) 

909. If a public sinner, or a person known to be under 
censure, does not agree first to go to confession and be recon 
ciled with the Church, the pastor shall not assist at his marriage, 
unless there is grave and urgent reason, concerning which he 
should consult the Ordinary, if it is possible. (Canon 1066.) 


Diriment Impediments. 

910. A boy under sixteen years of age and a girl under 
fourteen cannot validly contract marriage. 

Though marriage is valid when these years are completed, 
the pastors of souls should dissuade young people from marriage 
at an earlier age than is commonly the custom in the respective 
countries. (Canon 1067.) 

911. Antecedent and perpetual impotency either on the 
part of the man or the woman, whether known to the other or 
not, and whether absolute or relative impotency, annuls marriage 
by the very law of nature. (The Code does not define the nature 
of impotency and sterility, wherefore the former doubts concern 
ing this question are not solved authoritatively. One point, how 
ever, is made clear in the text here following, namely, that in 
doubtful impotency, both in a dubium juris and a dubium facti, 
there is no prohibition of marriage.) 

If the impediment of impotency is doubtful, either as to fact 
or as to law, marriage is not to be forbidden. 

Sterility neither invalidates nor makes marriage illicit. 
(Canon 1068.) 

912. He who is held by a previous marriage bond, though 
it be not a consummated marriage, cannot validly contract an 
other marriage. The exception of the Pauline privilege will be 
explained in another Canon. 

Though the first marriage be, for some reason, invalid or 
dissolved, it is not lawful for Catholics to contract another mar 
riage before there is legal proof of the invalidity or the dissolu 
tion of the first marriage. (Canon 1069.) 

913. The marriage between a person baptized in the Catho 
lic Church, or received into the Church from heresy or schism, 
and a non-baptized individual is null and void. 


If a certain party at the time of the marriage was com 
monly held to have been baptized, or if his baptism was doubtful, 
the validity of such marriage must, according to the rule of 
Canon 1014, be upheld until it is proved with certainty that one 
party was, and the other was not, baptized. (Canon 1070.) 

914. The rules prescribed in Canons 1060-1064 for mixed 
marriages must be applied also to marriages where there is 
an impediment of disparity of cult. (Canon 1071.) Canon 1061 
plainly states that the Church does not dispense from the im 
pediment of mixed religion, and the same is to be said of the 
disparity of cult, unless there are grave and urgent reasons and 
the required promises are made. In the case of disparity of cult 
the marriage would be invalid, if the conditions of Canon 1061 
are not verified. 

915. Clerics in major orders cannot validly marry. 
(Canon 1072.) 

916. Likewise religious, who have taken solemn vows, or 
whose simple vows have by the special law of the Holy See the 
power to annul marriage, cannot contract a valid marriage. 
(Canon 1073.) 

917. Between the man guilty of rape and the woman whom 
he abducts with the purpose of marriage there can be no marriage 
as long as the woman is in the power of the man committing 

If the abducted woman, after having been separated from 
the man, and been placed at full liberty consents to marry that 
man, the impediment ceases. 

As far as the nullity of marriage is concerned, the forcible 
detention of the woman is held equal to rape, namely when the 
man by force detains the woman with the purpose to marry her 
in the place where she lives, or to which she came of her own free 
will. (Canon 1074.) 

918. The impediment of crime invalidates marriage with 
the accomplice of the crime : 

1. if a married person commits adultery by complete con 
jugal action and enters into a mutual promise of marriage with 
the partner in adultery, or if they attempt a civil marriage ; 

2. if a married person commits such adultery and one of 
the adulterers kills the husband, or wife, of the adulterer; 

3. if a married person, without committing adultery, brings 


If either one or both parties by a positive act of the will 
exclude marriage itself, or all right to the conjugal act, or any 
of the essential qualities of marriage, they contract invalidly. 
(Canon 1086.) 

930. Marriage is also invalid if entered into by grave fear, 
or force, which an outside agency brought to bear upon a person 
unjustly, and by which the person was forced to choose marriage 
as a means to free oneself from the force or the threats. 

No other fear carries with it nullity of marriage, though it 
caused the contract. (Canon 1087.) 

931. In order to validly contract marriage the parties 
must be in each other s presence, either in person or through 

The parties must express their marriage consent in words, 
and they are not allowed to use equivalent signs, if they can 
speak. (Canon 1088.) 

932. For the valid marriage by proxy a special mandate to 
contract with a specified individual is required, and the mandate 
must be signed by the party issuing the same, and by the pastor 
or the Ordinary of the place in which the mandate is given, or 
by a priest delegated by either pastor or bishop, or at least by two 
witnesses. The diocesan statutes may demand additional pre 

If the person issuing the mandate does not know how to 
write, this shall be noted in the mandate and an additional witness 
shall be employed, otherwise the mandate is void. 

If the person who gave the mandate recalled the same, or 
became insane, before the proxy contracted marriage in his name, 
the marriage is invalid, though neither the proxy nor the other 
party to the marriage knew about the retraction of consent. 

The proxy must in person execute the mandate, otherwise 
the marriage is invalid. (Canon 1089.) 

933. Marriage may also be contracted by means of an 
interpreter. (Canon 1090.) 

934. The pastor shall not assist at a marriage to be con 
tracted by proxy or through an interpreter, unless there is good 
reason for contracting in the unusual manner, and unless he is 
certain of the authenticity of the mandate or the truthfulness of 
the interpreter. If time permits, the pastor must obtain the 
bishop s permission to assist at such marriages. (Canon 1091.) 


935. The condition added to a marriage consent, and not 
retracted, is governed by the following principles : 

1. If the condition is of the future and either necessary, 
or impossible, or sinful, but not against the essence of marriage, 
it is considered as not added to the contract. 

2. If the condition is of the future and against the essence 
of marriage, it renders the marriage invalid. 

3. If the condition is of the future and licit, it suspends 
the validity of the marriage. 

4. If the condition is either of the past or the present, the 
marriage is valid if the condition is realized, but invalid if it is 
not realized. (Canon 1092.) 

This impediment must not be confused with the impediment 
of error spoken of in Canon 1083, which states that marriage is 
valid though there was a mistake concerning non-essential quali 
ties, for instance concerning health, poverty, family rank, etc., of 
the party. The marriage is held valid in law even though the 
one party deceived the other purposely concerning these non- 
essential qualities. If, however, one party to the marriage ex 
plicitly states any of these qualities as a condition without which 
he will not contract marriage, for instance, "I will not marry you 
unless you are free from such a disease," the marriage is invalid 
if the condition is not realized. This right the Church grants to 
the contracting parties for their protection against deceit. 

936. Though marriage was contracted invalidly on account 
of some diriment impediment, the given consent is supposed to 
persevere until there is certainty about its revocation. (Canon 


Form of the Marriage Contract. 

937. Those marriages only are valid which are contracted 
either before the pastor or the Ordinary of the place, or a priest 
delegated by either, and at least two witnesses, in conformity, 
however, with the rules laid down in the following Canons, and 
save for the exceptions mentioned below in Canons 1098 and 
1099. (Canon 1094.) 

938. The pastor and Ordinary can assist at marriage val- 
idly only : 

1. from the day they have taken canonical possession of 
their benefice, according to Canons 334, 3, 1444, 1, or have 


entered upon their office, provided they are not excommunicated, 
interdicted, or suspended from office by a condemnatory or 
declaratory sentence of the ecclesiastical court (the interdict 
is here added, whereas the "Ne Temere" spoke only of excom 
munication and suspension. There is also a difference in the 
manner of inflicting the censures, the "Ne T enter e" declared 
the bishop or pastor incapable of assisting at marriage if sus 
pended or excommunicated by public decree and by name, while 
the Code speaks of inflicting of censures by the ecclesiastical 
court. Practically it is the same, for a public decree of excom 
munication, etc., cannot be issued except after a canonical trial) ; 

2. within the limits of their territory ; in which they assist 
validly at the marriages not only of their subjects, but also of 

3. provided they are not forced to assist by violence or 
grave fear, and ask for and receive the consent of the contracting 
parties. (The Code drops the rogati et invitati of the "Ne 
Temere," namely that the pastor or bishop should have been 
requested or invited to witness the marriage.) 

The pastor and the bishop who can validly assist at mar 
riages may also give permission to another priest to validly 
witness marriages within the limits of the parish, or the diocese 
respectively. (Canon 1095.) 

939. The permission given to another priest according to 
the preceding Canon, must be granted to a specified priest for a 
specified marriage. General delegation cannot be given except 
to regularly appointed assistants, for the parish to whicji they 
are appointed ; otherwise the permission or delegation is invalid. 

The pastor and the bishop should not give permission to 
assist until after all that which the law requires for the proof 
of the free state of the parties has been complied with. (Canon 

940. The pastor and the bishop assist licitly at marriage 

1. after they have lawfully ascertained the free state of 
the contracting parties, according to the regulations of the Code; 

2. after they have ascertained that at least one of the par 
ties has a domicile or quasi-domicile in the place of marriage, 
or has lived there at least for a month. In case of vagi it suf 
fices that they are actually staying in the place; 


3. if the pastor cannot claim the parties as his subjects 
under the provisions of the preceding paragraph, he must obtain 
permission to assist either from the pastor or the Ordinary where 
one of the parties has a domicile or quasi-domicile, or one month s 
sojourn, unless there is question of vagi who are actually travel 
ling and have no place of sojourn anywhere, or there is grave 
necessity which excuses from obtaining permission. 

In every case it shall be the rule that marriage be cele 
brated before the pastor of the bride, unless some just reason 
excuses. Marriages of parties of different Rites shall be con 
tracted in the presence of the pastor of the husband s Rite, unless 
a particular law rules otherwise. 

The pastor who assists at marriages without the permission 
required by the present Canon cannot make the stole fee his 
own, but must forward it to the proper pastor of the contracting 
parties. (Canon 1097.) 

941. If the pastor or Ordinary, or a priest delegated by 
either, according to Canons 1095 and 1096, cannot be had or 
the parties cannot go to him without great inconvenience, the 
following rules are to be observed : 

1. In danger of death marriage may be validly and licitly 
contracted in the presence only of two witnesses; even apart 
from the danger of death marriage may be contracted without 
the presence of an authorized priest, if it can be prudently 
foreseen that this state of affairs, namely the difficulty to have 
an authorized priest witness the marriage, ivill continue for a 
month. (Two important modifications of the "Ne Temere" are 
contained in this Canon, first that in danger of death marriage 
can be contracted without a priest before two witnesses, and, 
second, that in places where a priest cannot be had or the parties 
cannot go to him, they need not wait for a whole month, if there 
is good reason to judge that the same conditions will continue 
for a month.) 

2. In either case, if there is another priest not delegated, 
for instance on vacation or a visit, who can be present, he should 
be called and together with the witnesses assist at the marriage, 
but only the two witnesses are necessary for validity. (Canon 

942. To the form of marriage as demanded by the pre 
ceding Canons are held : 


1. all persons baptized in the Catholic Church, and con 
verts to the Church from heresy or schism, though the first men 
tioned as well as the converts should afterwards have fallen 
away, if they contract marriage among themselves. 

2. Catholics, as described in the foregoing paragraph, who 
marry non-Catholics, either baptized or unbaptized, even after 
they have obtained a dispensation from disparity of cult, or mixed 

3. Catholics of Oriental Rites who marry persons of the 
Latin Rite held to this form of marriage. 

Saving the rule of 1, n. 1, of this Canon, non-Catholics, 
whether baptized or un-baptized, are nowhere held to the Catholic 
form of marriage when they contract marriage among themselves. 
Exempt are also children of non-Catholics, who, though they 
were baptized in the Catholic Church, were reared from their 
infancy in the non-Catholic faith or in infidelity and without 
religion, when they contract marriage with non-Catholics. 
(Canon 1099.) 

943. Outside the case of necessity, the sacred Rites pre 
scribed in the liturgical books approved by the Church, or laudable 
customs approved by the Church, shall be employed in the cele 
bration of marriage. (Canon 1100.) 

944. The pastor should attend to it that the couple receives 
the nuptial blessing, which can be given them also after they 
have lived in marriage for a long time, but it can be pronounced 
only in Holy Mass with the observance of the special rubric, and 
on all days with the exception of the days specified in Canon 1 108. 

The solemn nuptial blessing can be bestowed only by the 
priest, or by his delegate, who has the right validly and licitly 
to witness the marriage contract. (Canon 1 101. ) 

945. In a marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic 
the questions eliciting the consent of the parties are to be put 
by the priest as demanded by Canon 1095, 1, n. 3. 

All sacred rites, however, are forbidden. If from this pro 
hibition greater evils are foreseen to follow, the bishop may 
allow some of the usual church ceremonies with the exception 
of the celebration of Holy Mass. (Canon 1102.) 

946. After the celebration of marriage the pastor, or he 
who takes his place, shall as soon as possible enter in the marriage 
record the names of the married couple and of the witnesses, the 
place and date, and other items prescribed in the rituals and the 


diocesan statutes. The pastor shall make the entry even if 
another priest, delegated either by himself or by the bishop, 
blessed the marriage. 

The pastor shall also, according to Canon 470, 2, note in 
the baptismal record that the parties contracted marriage in his 
parish on that day. If one or both parties were baptized in 
another parish, the pastor in whose parish the marriage was 
contracted shall send notice of the fact to the pastor where the 
parties were baptized, which he may do either directly or through 
the Curia of his diocese. 

Whenever marriage was contracted according to Canon 
1098, the priest, if there was one present, and otherwise the 
witnesses, must see to it that the marriage is entered in the two 
records. (Canon 1103.) 

The Marriage of Conscience. 

947. By a marriage of conscience is understood a marriage 
contracted without the publication of the banns and in secret, in 
accordance with the following Canons. The bishop may allow 
such a marriage only for very grave and urgent reasons; the 
vicar general cannot allow such marriages except by special man 
date of his bishop. (Canon 1 104. ) 

948. The permission to contract a marriage of conscience 
imports the promise and grave obligation of observing the secret 
on the part of the assisting priest, of the witnesses, of the Ordi 
nary and his successors, and also of the contracting parties as 
long as one of the partners does not consent to the publication. 
(Canon 1105.) 

$49. This promise of secrecy on part of the Ordinary does 
not bind him in cases where the keeping of the secret should 
cause scandal or grave injury to the sanctity of marriage, or 
when the parties do not have their children baptized, or give ficti 
tious names to hide their parenthood, unless they give their true 
names to the Ordinary within thirty days from the birth and 
baptism of the child, or, finally, when they neglect the Catholic 
education of their children. (Canon 1106.) 

950. The marriage of conscience is not to be entered in 
the ordinary records of marriage and Baptism, but is to be kept 
in the secret archives of the Curia. (Canon 1107.) 


Time and Place of Marriage. 

951. Marriage may be contracted any time of the year. 
The solemn nuptial blessing only of marriage is forbidden 
from the first Sunday in Advent to Christmas, inclusively, 
and from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, inclusively. 
The bishop may permit marriage in these seasons for a good 
reason, even with the nuptial blessing, as decided by S. R. C. 
June 14, 1918, but the parties must refrain from too much 
pomp. (Canon 1108.) 

952. The marriage between Catholics shall be contracted in 
the parish church ; in another church, public or semi-public ora 
tory, it cannot take place without the permission of either bishop 
or pastor. 

In private houses the bishop may not permit the celebration 
of marriage except in some extraordinary case and for good 
reasons. In the churches or chapels of seminaries or of re 
ligious women, the Ordinary should not allow the celebration 
of marriage except in urgent necessity and with due precautions. 

Marriages between a Catholic and a non-Catholic shall be 
contracted outside the church. If, however, the bishop judges 
that this rule cannot be insisted upon without causing other 
greater evils, it is left to his judgment to allow the marriage to 
take place in the church but without Holy Mass, as Canon 1102, 
2 rules. (Canon 1109.) 


Consequences of Marriage. 

953. From valid marriage there arises between the married 
couple a bond perpetual and exclusive in its very nature. Chris 
tian marriage, moreover, gives to the parties who place no 
obstacle to it the grace of the Sacrament. (Canon 1110.) 

954. Either of the married parties possess, from the mo 
ment the contract has been concluded, equal rights and duties 
concerning the actions proper to conjugal life. (Canon 1111.) 

955. Unless the special law rules otherwise, the wife shares 
in the state of her husband, as far as canonical effects are con 
cerned. (Canon 1112.) 

956. The parents are bound by a most serious obligation 


to provide to the best of their ability for the religious and moral 
as well as the physical and civil education of their children, and 
to care for their temporal wellbeing. (Canon 1113.) 

957. Legitimate children are those conceived or born in 
valid marriage, or in marriage contracted in good faith though 
invalidly. If married people make solemn profession in a Re 
ligious Order, or if the husband receive major orders, the use 
of marriage is forbidden to them, and if by intercourse after 
such profession or ordination a child is conceived and born, 
it is not considered legitimate. (Canon 1114.) 

958. As the father of a child is considered he who appears 
to be such by lawful marriage, unless there are evident argu 
ments to prove the contrary. 

The children who are born at least six months after the 
date of marriage, or within ten months from the dissolution of 
conjugal life, are in law presumed legitimate. (Canon 1115.) 

959. By a subsequent marriage contracted validly, or in 
good faith, or by validation of marriage, though not consummated 
by conjugal intercourse, offspring is legitimized, if the parents 
were capable to contract marriage with each other either at the 
time of conception, or pregnancy, or birth. (Canon 1116.) 

960. Children legitimized by subsequent marriage are, as 
far as canonical effects are concerned, held equal in all things to 
legitimate offspring, unless the Canons explicitly make an excep 
tion. (Canon 1117.) 

Separation of Married People. 

Article I. Dissolution of the Marriage Bond. 

961. The valid marriage of Christians, consummated by 
the conjugal act, cannot be dissolved by any human authority for 
any reason; death alone can dissolve the bond. (Canon 1118.) 

962. Non-consummated marriage between baptized persons, 
or between a baptized and an unbaptized, is dissolved by law 
through solemn religious profession, as well as by dispensation 
of the Holy See, granted for a good reason at the request of 
either or both parties, or of one of them even though the other 
objects. (Canon 1119.); 


963. The valid marriage of unbaptized persons, though 
consummated, is dissolved in favor of the faith by the Pauline 

This privilege cannot be applied in a marriage between a 
Catholic and an unbaptized person if contracted with the dis 
pensation from the disparity of cult. (Canon 1120.) 

964. Before the converted and baptized party can validly 
contract a new marriage, he must first interpellate the unbaptized 
party. Canon 1125 contains some exceptions to this rule. The 
interpellation consists in this that the convert is to ask (1) 
whether also the other party wishes to be converted and baptized, 
(2) in case the other party does not wish to be baptized, whether 
he, or she, is willing to live in marriage without offense to God, 
which is to say that he, or she, will not interfere with the religi 
ous obligations of the convert. 

These interpellations must always be made, unless the Holy 
See has decreed otherwise. (Canon 1121.) 

965. The interpellations should as a rule be made in sum 
mary and extrajudicial form with the authority of the Ordinary 
of the converted party, who is also entitled to grant the unbap 
tized party at his, or her, request a certain length of time to 
reflect before making answer, with the notification, however, that 
failure to answer within the specified time will be taken as a 
reply in the negative. 

Interpellations made privately by the converted party itself 
are also valid, and also licit, if the above mentioned form cannot 
be observed ; but in this cace there must be proof of the interpella 
tion by at least two witnesses or by other proof acknowledged in 
law. (Canon 1122.) 

966. If the interpellations were omitted by permission of 
the Holy See, or if the unbaptized party should have given either 
explicitly or tacitly an answer in the negative, the baptized party 
has the right to contract a new marriage with a Catholic, unless 
after Baptism he gave the unbaptized just cause for separation. 
(Canon 1123.) 

967. The convert who after Baptism lived again in mar 
riage with the unbaptized party does not thereby forfeit the right 
to enter upon a new marriage with a Catholic, wherefore he 
can make use of his right, if the unbaptized party does after 
wards change his mind, and, without the fault of the other party, 


separates, or does not live peacefully and without injury to the 
religious obligations of the converted Catholic. (Canon 1124.) 

968. The Constitutions of Pope Paul III.: "Altitude" 
June 1, 1537; of Pope St. Pius V. : "Romani Pontificis" Aug. 2, 
1571; of Pope Gregory XIII. : "Populis" Jan. 25, 1585, given 
to individual countries, are, as far as marriage is concerned, 
extended to all other countries in the same circumstances. The 
passages of these constitutions referring to marriage are given in 
the appendix of the Code. 

The constitution "Altitude" refers to marriages of heathens 
who practice polygamy. The text seems to suppose that the 
husband as well as his several wives were all converted. If he 
remember not which was the first one he married, he shall take 
any one of them and contract marriage with her; if he remember 
which woman he married first, he shall dismiss the others and 
continue to live with the first. Dispensation is granted the con 
verted heathens to marry, notwithstanding consanguinity, or 
affinity in the third degree. 

The constitution "Romani Pontificis" deals with a case where 
a heathen has taken and dismissed several wives and married 
others. Finally he is converted and one of the wives he actually 
has is also converted. His first and only lawful wife has either 
been dismissed by him, or, if he still lives with her, it was not 
she that became a Catholic but one of the other wives. The Holy 
See allows that the man may continue to live in marriage with the 
one who became converted. Here dispensation is granted from 
the interpellation. 

The constitution "Populis" gives faculties to the bishops, 
pastors, and priests, of the Society of Jesus to dispense from the 
interpellation in the cases of converts in Angola, Ethiopia, Brazil, 
and regions of India, who before Baptism were married and 
whose partners in marriage were carried off into slavery, or 
otherwise separated, so that they could not easily be interpellated, 
or, if interpellated, did not reply within the time fixed for the 
answer, so that they may lawfully marry a Catholic of any Rite. 
If afterwards it should become known that the other party had 
become a Catholic by the time the second marriage took place, or 
that he had had no chance to reply to the interpellation, the 
second marriage is nevertheless to be considered firm and valid. 
(Canon 1125.) 

969. The bond of the first marriage contracted in infidelity 


is solved only when the converted party actually contracts a new 
and valid marriage. (Canon 1126.) 

970. In doubtful cases the Pauline privilege enjoys the 
favor of law. (Canon 1127.) 

Article II. Separation from Bed and Board. 

971. The married couple is obliged to live together in 
conjugal relations, unless a just cause frees them from this 
obligation. (Canon 1 128. ) 

972. For reason of adultery of one party, the other has 
the right to solve even for all times the community of life, 
though the marriage bond remains, unless the other consented to 
the crime, or was the cause of it, or expressly, or tacitly, con 
doned it, or, finally, committed the same crime himself, or 

Tacit condoning of the crime consists in this that the inno 
cent party, after having become certain of the crime, nevertheless 
continues to live with the other in marital relations ; such the law 
presumes to be the case, unless the innocent party within six 
months either expel or leave the guilty partner, or bring legal 
accusation against him, or her. (Canon 1129.) 

973. The married person who, either upon sentence of the 
judge, or by his or her own authority lawfully leaves the guilty 
party, has no longer obligation to again admit the adulterer 
to conjugal life; the innocent party, however, has the right to 
admit the guilty partner, and to oblige him, or her, to return, 
unless he or she has in the meantime, with the consent of the 
innocent party, embraced a state of life contrary to marriage. 
(Canon 1130.) 

974. Other reasons for separation : if one party joins a non- 
Catholic sect ; or educates the offspring as non-Catholics ; or leads 
a criminal and despicable life; or creates great bodily or spiritual 
danger to the other party; or if through cruelties he or she 
makes living together too difficult, and other such reasons, which 
are to the innocent party so many legal causes to leave the 
guilty party by authority of the Ordinary of the diocese, or also 
by private authority, if the guilt of the other party is certain 
beyond doubt, and there is danger in delay. 

In all these cases the common life must be restored when 
the reason for the separation ceases; if, however, the separation 


was pronounced by the bishop either for a time, or indefinitely, 
the innocent party is not obliged to return except when the time 
specified has elapsed or the bishop gives orders to return. (Canon 

975. After the separation, the children are to be placed in 
charge of the innocent party, and if one of the parties is a non- 
Catholic the Catholic party is to have charge over them, that they 
may be raised as Catholics, unless the Ordinary decides differ 
ently for the sake of the welfare of the children, always safe 
guarding their Catholic education, (Canon 1132.) 


Validation of Marriage. 

Article I. Simple Validation. 

976. In order to validate a marriage which is invalid on 
account of some diriment impediment, there is required either 
that the impediment ceases or is dispensed, and that at least the 
party conscious of the impediment renews the consent. 

This renewal of consent is required by ecclesiastical law for 
validity of the marriage, although in the beginning both parties 
gave their consent and did not afterwards revoke it. (Canon 

977. The renewal of consent must be a new act of the will 
for the marriage that is known to have been invalid from the 
beginning. (Canon 1134.) 

978. If the impediment is public, the consent must be 
renewed by both parties, in the form prescribed by law. 

If it is occult and known to both parties, it suffices that the 
consent be renewed privately and secretly by both parties. 

If it is occult and known only to one party, it suffices that 
the party who knows of the impediment, privately and secretly 
renews the consent, provided the other party continues in its con 
sent. (Canon 1135.) 

979. Marriage which is invalid on account of want of con 
sent is validated if the party which did not consent does now give 
the consent, provided the consent of the other party perseveres. 

If the defect of consent was merely internal, it is sufficient 
that the party who did not consent now gives consent by an 
internal act. 


If the want of consent was manifested also outwardly it is 
necessary to renew the consent outwardly, either in the form pre 
scribed by law, in case the want of consent was public, or in 
some private and secret but outward manner if the want of con 
sent was occult. (Canon 1136.) 

980. Marriage which is null and void on account of 
the want of the prescribed form, must be validated by contracting 
in the form required by law. (Canon 1 137. ) 

Article II. Sanatio in Radice. 

981. The sanatio in radio e of marriage is its validation 
which imports, besides a dispensation from, or a cessation of, an 
impediment, a dispensation from the law of renewing the consent, 
and a retro-action, by fictiqn of law, in reference to the canonical 
effects in the past state while the union was invalid. 

The validation takes place at the moment of granting of this 
favor. The retro-action, however, is to be understood to reach 
back to the beginning of the marriage, unless it is expressly stated 
otherwise in the rescript. 

The dispensation from the law of renewing the consent can 
be given if one only or both parties are ignorant of the impedi 
ment. (Canon 1138.) 

982. Any marriage contracted with the consent of both 
parties which would naturally suffice, but which consent is juridi 
cally ineffective on account of a diriment impediment of ecclesias 
tical law, or on account of want of the prescribed form, can be 
validated by the sanatio in radice, provided the consent per 

Marriage contracted under an impediment of the natural 
or the Divine law is not validated by the Church by means of the 
sanatio in radice, though the impediment should have ceased after 
wards, not even from the moment of the cessation of the impedi 
ment. (Canon 1139.) 

983. If either in both or i:i one party consent has ceased to 
exist, the marriage cannot be vnlidated by the sanatio in radice, 
and this is true both, in case \here was no consent from the 
beginning, and also when it was first given and then revoked. 

If consent was wanting in the beginning but was given later 
on, the sanatio in radice can be applied from the moment that 
consent was given. (Canon 1140.) 


984. The sanatio in radice can be granted by the Holy See 
alone. (Canon 1141.) 


Second Marriage. 

985. Though chaste widowhood is more honorable, second 
and further marriages are valid and licit, provided that, according 
to Canon 1069, 2, the dissolution of the first marriage is proved. 
(Canon 1142.) 

986. The woman who received the nuptial blessing once, 
cannot in a subsequent marriage again receive it. (Canon 


The Sacramentals. 

987. Sacramentals consist of sacred objects and actions 
which the Church, in imitation of the Sacraments to a certain 
extent, makes use of for thej)urpose of obtaining by her interces 
sion favors, especially spiritual ones. (Canon 1144.) 

988. The Holy See alone has the right to constitute new 
Sacramentals, authentically interpret those in use, abolish or 
modify any of them. (Canon 1145.) 

989. The legitimate minister of the Sacramentals is the 
cleric who has received faculty to bestow them, and who has not 
been forbidden by the competent ecclesiastical authority to exer 
cise this faculty. (Canon 1146.) 

990. Consecrations no one can validly perform who is not 
a consecrated bishop, unless this faculty is given one either by 
law or by indult of the Holy See. 

Benedictions, with the exception of those reserved either 
to the Roman Pontiff, or the bishop, or others, may be given by 
any priest. 

A reserved benediction given by a priest without the neces 
sary faculty, is illicit but valid, unless in the reservation the 
Holy See explicitly states that it cannot validly be given except 
by those to whom it is reserved or by those having special facul 

Deacons and lectors can validly and licitly give only those 
blessings which are explicitly permitted to them by law. (Canon 


991. In the preparation and administration of the sacra- 
mentals the rites prescribed by the Church must be accurately ob 

Consecrations and blessings, both constitutive and invocative, 
are invalid if the formula prescribed by the Church is not em 
ployed. (Canon 1148.) Invocative benedictions are those by 
which God s blessing is called upon a person, object or place, 
e. g. blessing of infant, of edibles, of a house; constitutive are 
those benedictions which render a person, object or place sacred, 
e. g. blessing of an abbot, church, sacred vessels. 

992. Blessings are, first of all, to be given to Catholics ; they 
may also be given to catechumens, and, where there is no prohibi 
tion of the Church, also to non-Catholics to obtain the light of 
faith and together with it bodily health. (Canon 1149.) 

993. Consecrated objects, and objects rendered sacred by 
blessing, must be treated with reverence, and they are not to be 
used for profane purposes nor for purposes for which they are 
not intended, though these objects be owned by private indi 
viduals. (Canon 1150.) 

994. No one who has the power to pronounce exorcisms 
can lawfully read them over those possessed unless he has re 
ceived special and explicit permission from the bishop. 

This faculty should be granted by the bishop only to a priest 
who is distinguished for prudence and holiness of life. The 
priest shall not pronounce the exorcism until he has ascertained 
by prudent investigation that the person is really possessed by 
the devil. (Canon 1151.) 

995. Exorcisms can be pronounced by the authorized min 
isters not only over the faithful but also over catechumens, over 
non-Catholics and excommunicated persons. (Canon 1152.) 

996. The exorcisms which occur in Baptism and in conse 
crations and blessings may be pronounced by the very same min 
isters who have the right to employ these sacred rites. (Canon 




Sacred Places. 

997. Sacred places are those which are blessed or conse 
crated either for Divine worship or for the burial of the faithful, 


according to the rites prescribed by the approved liturgical books. 
(Canon 11 54.) 

998. The consecration of any place, though it belong to the 
regulars, pertains to the Ordinary of the diocese or territory 
where such place is situated, provided the Ordinary has episco 
pal consecration; the vicar general needs a special mandate of 
the bishop. Cardinals have the privilege to consecrate the church 
and altars of their title. 

The Ordinary of the territory, though not possessed of epis 
copal dignity, may give faculty to any bishop of the same Rite to 
perform consecrations in his territory. (Canon 1155.) 

999. The right to bless a sacred place belongs to the Ordi 
nary of the place if there is question of places belonging to the 
secular clergy, or to non-exempt religious, or to exempt lay Or 
ders; if it is a place belonging to a clerical exempt religious 
body the major superior has the right to bless the place ; both the 
Ordinary of the diocese and the major superior may delegate 
another priest for the blessing. (Canon 1156.) 

1000. Notwithstanding any privilege, nobody may conse 
crate or bless a sacred place without the consent of the Ordinary. 
(Canon 1157.) 

1001. A document of consecration or blessing shall be 
drawn up, one copy to be kept in the episcopal Curia, another in 
the archives of the respective church. (Canon 1158.) 

1002. The consecration or blessing of any place is proved 
sufficiently by one absolutely trustworthy witness, if nobody else s 
rights are thereby injured. 

If there is legal proof of consecration or blessing, neither 
can be given again; in doubtful cases they may be repeated ad 
cautelam. (Canon 1159.) 

1003. The sacred places are exempt from the jurisdiction 
of the civil authorities, and in them the legitimate ecclesiastical 
authority freely exercises its jurisdiction. (Canon 1160.) 



1004. By the term church is meant a sacred building dedi 
cated to Divine worship, principally for the purpose that it serve 
all the faithful for the exercise of public worship. (Canon 


1005. No church shall be erected without explicit permis 
sion in writing from the Ordinary, which permission or consent 
the vicar general cannot give without a special mandate. 

The Ordinary shall not give his consent unless he prudently 
foresees that the necessary means for the building and main 
tenance of the new church, for the support of the necessary min 
isters and the expenditures of the cult, will not be wanting. 

In order that the new church may not injure churches al 
ready established without proportionate spiritual benefit of the 
faithful, the Ordinary before giving consent for the building of 
a new church shall hear the rectors of neighboring churches who 
are concerned. Canon 1676 gives to the parties who think them 
selves injured by the erection of a new church or other institution 
the right to object, and from the moment protest is made ope 
rations must come to a stop until a decision has been reached in 
the ecclesiastical court. 

Religious who have obtained permission from the Ordinary 
to establish themselves in the diocese or in a city, must, before 
they build a public oratory or church, obtain approval of the 
location from the bishop. (Canon 1162.) 

1006. The blessing and laying of the cornerstone of a 
church belongs either to the Ordinary or to the major religious 
superior, the same as the blessing of a sacred place, according to 
Canon 1156. (Canon 1163.) 

1007. The Ordinaries should take care to have the churches 
built acording to the approved traditions of ecclesiastical archi 
tecture, and in conformity with the laws of sacred art. 

In a church there must be no door or window opening into 
a house of lay persons. The space in the basement or above the 
church shall not be used for purely profane purposes. (Canon 

1008. Divine worship cannot be held in a new ; church be 
fore it has been solemnly consecrated, or at least blessed. 

If it can be foreseen that the church will be converted to 
profane purposes, the Ordinary should not give his consent for 
the building of the same, and if it has already been built, he shall 
neither consecrate nor bless it. 

The solemn consecration ought to be given to cathedral 
churches and, as far as possible, to collegiate, religious and pa 
rochial churches. 


A church built of wood, or of iron or other metal, may be 
blessed but it cannot be consecrated. 

The altar may be consecrated without consecration of the 
church. In the consecration of a church, at least the major altar, 
and if it was already consecrated previously, another altar, must 
be consecrated in the ceremony of its consecration. (Canon 

1009. The consecration of churches may be held any day. 
Sundays and holidays of obligation, however, are more becoming 
for this ceremony. 

The consecrating bishop and those who ask for the conse 
cration must observe the fast the day before the consecration. 

When the church or an altar is consecrated, the officiating 
bishop, though he has no jurisdiction in the territory, concedes an 
indulgence of one year to those who visit the church or the altar 
on the day of consecration, and on the anniversary fifty days if 
a bishop consecrates, one hundred days if an archbishop, two hun 
dred days if a Cardinal. (Canon 1166.) 

1010. The feast of the consecration of a church is to be 
kept annually according to the liturgical laws. (Canon 1167.) 

1011. Each church which is either blessed or consecrated 
shall have its title, which it is forbidden to change afterwards. 

The feast also of the title of the church is to be observed 
each year, according to the liturgical laws. 

Churches cannot be dedicated in honor of beatified persons 
without permission of the Holy See. (Canon 1168.) 

1012. It is desirable that each church have bells, by which 
the faithful may be invited to Divine worship and other religious 

The church bells must be either consecrated or blessed, ac 
cording to the Rite of the approved liturgical books. 

The use of the church bells is exclusively under the juris 
diction of the authorities of the Church. 

With the exception of conditions stipulated by the donor of a 
church bell with approval of the Ordinary, the bells must not be 
rung for merely profane purposes, except in case of necessity, or 
with the permission of the Ordinary, or in accordance with legiti 
mate custom. 

In reference to the consecration or the blessing of church 


bells, the rules of Canons 1155 and 1156 shall be observed. 
(Canon 1169.) 

1013. The church does not lose its consecration or blessing 
unless it was totally destroyed, or the larger part of the walls col 
lapsed, or it was reduced to profane purposes by authority of the 
Ordinary, as provided by Canon 1187. (Canon 1170.) 

1014. In the sacred edifice which has been legitimately 
blessed all ecclesiastical rites may be performed, safeguarding the 
rights of parochial churches, and rights acquired by privilege, and 
legitimate customs. The Ordinary may especially fix the hours 
for Divine worship that they may not interfere with other 
churches. In churches of exempt religious the bishop may not 
fix the hours for services, except in cases where the religious have 
no parish church and their services might interfere with the 
catechetical and Gospel instructions in the parish church of the 
place. (Canon 1171.) 

1015. Churches are desecrated only by the crimes here 
enumerated, if they are certain, notorious, and committed in the 
church itself : (1) the crime of homicide; (2) sinful shedding of 
blood in considerable quantity; (3) godless and sordid purposes 
for which the church was used; (4) burial of an infidel, or of a 
person excommunicated by condemnatory- or declaratory sen 

If the church is desecrated, the cemetery adjoining the 
church is not thereby desecrated, and vice versa. (Canon 1172.) 

1016. In a desecrated church it is forbidden to hold Divine 
worship, to administer the Sacraments and to have funeral ser 
vices before it is reconciled. 

If the desecration happens during Divine services they shall 
immediately be discontinued; if during Holy Mass, before the 
beginning of the canon or after the communion, Mass must be 
discontinued at once, otherwise the priest shall continue until the 
communion. (Canon 1173.) 

1017. The desecrated church shall be reconciled as soon as 
possible with the sacred ceremonies prescribed in the approved 
liturgical books. 

If the desecration of the church is doubtful, it may be recon 
ciled ad cautelam. (Canon 1174.) 

1018. A church which has been desecrated by the burial of 
an excommunicated or of an unbaptized person, shall not be re- 


conciled before the body is removed, if the removal can be accom 
plished without grave inconvenience. (Canon 1175.) 

1019. A church that is blessed can be reconciled by its rec 
tor, or by any other priest with at least the presumed permission 
of the rector. 

The reconciliation of a consecrated church belongs to either 
the bishop or the major religious superior, according to Canon 

In case of grave and urgent necessity, if the bishop cannot 
be approached, the rector of a consecrated church may reconcile 
it, notifying the Ordinary afterwards. (Canon 1176.) 

1020. The reconciliation of a blessed church can be done 
with ordinary holy water. The reconciliation, however, of a 
consecrated church is to be done with holy water specially blessed 
for that purpose with the ceremonies prescribed by the liturgical 
laws; it may be blessed not only by the bishop but also by the 
priest who reconciles the church. ( Canon 1 1 77. ) 

1021. All persons concerned must see to it that such clean 
liness is observed in church as is becoming to the house of God. 
Business transactions and fairs and sales, though held for a pious 
purpose, shall be kept away from the church, and, in general, 
everything that is not in accordance with the sanctity of the place. 
(Canon 1178.) 

1022. The churches enjoy the right of refuge, so that a 
criminal who has fled into it may, except in urgent necessity, not 
be taken out of it without the permission of the Ordinary, or at 
least of the rector of the church. (Canon 1179.) 

1023. The title of Basilica cannot be given to any church 
except by Apostolic indult, or by immemorial custom, and its 
privileges likewise are derived either from custom or from indult 
of the Holy See. (Canon 1 180. ) 

1024. The admission to the sacred functions in church 
must be absolutely gratuitous, all contrary custom being disap 
proved. (Canon 1181.) 

1025. The administration of goods intended for repairs 
and decoration of the church, and conducting of services, be 
longs, with the exception of special cases and privileges, to the 
Ordinary together with the Chapter if there is question of the 
cathedral church, but to the collegiate Chapter if the church is 
collegiate ; and to the rector in the case of other churches. Canons 


1519-1528 concerning the administration of church property must 
likewise be observed. 

The offerings made for the benefit of the parish, or the mis 
sion, or a church situated within the limits of the parish or 
mission, are administrated by the pastor of the church or by the 
rector of the mission, unless there is question of churches which 
have an administration of their own, distinct from that of the 
parish or mission, or the special law or legal custom rule 

The pastor, missionary, rector of a church, both secular 
and religious, must administrate the offerings in accord with 
the regulations of the sacred Canons and give account thereof 
to the Ordinary of the place, as provided by Canon 1525. 
(Canon 1182.) 

1026. If others, either clerics or laymen, are admitted to 
the administration of the goods of any church, they shall all 
act as an administrative council under the presidency of the 
ecclesiastical administrator, mentioned in the preceding Canon, 
or his delegate. 

The members of the administrative board are to be chosen 
by the Ordinary or his delegate, unless special laws provide 
otherwise, and they can be removed by him for a grave reason. 
(Canon 1183.) 

1027. The administrative council is to care for the proper 
administration of the church revenues, according to Canons 
1522 and 1523, but they may not interfere in any way in all 
those things that belong to the spiritual care of the parish, 
especially : 

1. the exercise of worship in the church; 

2. how and when to ring the church bells, the maintaining 
of order in church and in the cemetery; 

3. to determine the manner of prayer, announcements and 
other affairs belonging in any way to Divine worship and the 
solemnity of the same; 

4. the care of altars, communion rail, pulpit, organ, place 
for the choir, pews, offering-boxes and other objects belonging 
to the exercise of religious worship; 

5. the judgment as to the fitness of sacred utensils and 
other things destined either for use in the Divine worship, or 
for the decoration of church and sacristy; 


6. the writing and keeping of the church records and docu 
ments belonging to the archives of the parish. (Canon 1184.) 

1028. The sacristan, singers, organist, choir boys, work 
men for the cemetery, and all others serving the church, are 
appointed, depend on, and can be dismissed by no one but the 
rector of the church, saving lawful customs and agreements, 
and the authority of the Ordinary. (Canon 1185.) 

1029. Unless there are special legal customs, or agree 
ments, or an obligation placed on individuals by the civil law, 
the obligation of maintaining the cathedral church building rests 
with the persons here mentioned in the following order : 

1. if the church as such has revenues, these are to be used 
for repairs of the church edifice, but the revenues necessary to 
carry on Divine worship and the ordinary administration of 
the church must not be touched; 

2. the bishop and the canons of the cathedral are held to 
defray the expenditures for repairs in proportion to their in 
come, but the salary that is considered necessary for their proper 
living must not be attached; 

3. if the two preceding sources fail, the people of the diocese 
are to defray the repairs of the cathedral, but the Ordinary 
should by persuasion, rather than by force, induce the people 
to furnish according to their means the necessary funds for 
the cathedral. 

The duty of repairing the parish church rests with the 
following in this order: (1) the revenues of the church itself; 
(2) the patron; (3) those who derive some income from the 
church, according to the rate fixed by the Ordinary; (4) the 
parishioners, who, however, should be induced by persuasion 
rather than by strict command. 

These rules with proper proportion should be observed 
also in reference to other churches. (Canon 1186.) 

1030. If a church is so dilapidated that it cannot at all 
be used for Divine worship, and if all means to repair it are 
wanting, the Ordinary may turn it to some decent profane use; 
the obligations with their respective funds, for instance, of 
foundation Masses, and the title of the parish, if a parochial 
church, shall be transferred to another church appointed by the 
Ordinary. (Canon 1187.) 




1031. An oratory is a place destined for Divine worship, 
not, however, with the principal object of serving the faithful 
at large as a house of worship. 

The oratory is called (1) Public, if it has been erected 
indeed principally for the convenience of a body of men, or 
also for private individuals, but in such manner that all the 
faithful have the right to worship there, which right must be 
safeguarded to them by law to freely approach the oratory at 
least at the time of Divine services. (2) Semi-public, if it has 
been erected for the convenience of some community or a body 
of the faithful who meet there, so that not everybody has the 
right to enter the place. (3) Private or domestic, if erected 
in a private house for the benefit of some family or of a private 
individual. (Canon 1188.) 

1032. The oratories in the houses of Cardinals and 
bishops, even titular ones, though private, have nevertheless all 
the rights and privileges given by law to semi-public oratories. 
(Canon 1189.) 

1033. The small chapels erected in a cemetery by private 
individuals over their burial places have the nature of private 

1034. Public oratories are governed by the same laws as 

If, therefore, a public oratory has been dedicated to the 
public worship of God by blessing or consecration, under the 
authority of the bishop of the diocese in conformity with Canons 
1155 and 1156, all sacred functions can take place there, except 
such that the rubrics do not allow in oratories. (Canon 1191.) 

1035. Semi-public oratories cannot be erected without the 
permission of the Ordinary. 

The Ordinary shall not give this permission before he has 
inspected, either in person or through some one else, the place 
where the semi-public oratory is to be established, and has con 
vinced himself that the place is in proper condition for the 

Once the permission has been granted, the place cannot be 
turned to profane purposes without the authority of the same 


In colleges and other institutions for the education of youth, 
in highschools, castles, barracks of soldiers, prisons, hospitals, 
etc., there should not be erected other minor oratories besides 
the principal one, unless, according to the judgment of the Ordi 
nary, necessity or great utility make their erection advisable. 
(Canon 1192.) 

1036. In semi-public oratories legitimately erected all 
sacred functions can be held except such that the rubrics or the 
orders of the bishop exclude. (Canon 1193.) 

1037. In private chapels in cemeteries, mentioned in 
Canon 1190, the Ordinary may permit, also habitually, the cele 
bration of several Masses; in other private oratories he can al 
low only one Mass for some extraordinary occasion and not 
habitually. The Ordinary shall not give this permission except 
in conformity with Canon 1192, 2. (Canon 1194.) 

1038. In private oratories which have received the indult 
of the Holy See to have Mass said there, the Ordinary shall visit 
and approve of the place according to Canon 1192, 2; this hav 
ing been done, one low Mass may be said there each day with the 
exception of the more solemn feasts of the Church; other eccles 
iastical functions shall not be held there. 

The Ordinary may also for good reasons, other than those 
for which the indult was granted, allow Holy Mass on the more 
solemn feasts per modum actus, which means to say, not per 
petually but by way of exception in a particular case. (Canon 

1039. Domestic oratories cannot be consecrated or blessed 
after the manner of churches. 

Domestic and semi-public oratories may either be blessed 
with the benedictio loci of the Ritual or not at all, but they must 
be reserved exclusively to Divine worship and may not be used 
for domestic purposes, (Canon 1196.) 



1040. In the liturgical sense there is understood : 

1. By the term immovable or fixed altar, the upper table 
together with its support, consecrated as a whole. 

2. By the term movable or portable altar, the stone, as a 


rule small in size, which alone is consecrated and which is called 
portable altar stone, or sacred stone; or also the whole altar with 
table and support, which was, however, not consecrated as a 

In consecrated churches at least one altar, principally the 
main altar, must be immovable. In blessed churches all the al 
tars may be movable. (Canon 1197.) 

1041. The table of an immovable altar, as well as the por 
table altar stone, must consist of one piece of natural solid stone. 

In the immovable altar the stone table must cover the entire 
altar and must be properly joined to the support. The support 
must be of stone or at least the sides or columns on which the 
table rests must be of stone. 

The portable altar stone must be sufficiently large to hold 
the host and the larger part of the base of the chalice. 

In the immovable altar, as well as in the portable one, there 
must be the sepulchre containing the relics of saints as prescribed 
by the liturgical laws, closed with a stone. (Canon 1198.) 

1042. In order that Holy Mass may be celebrated on such 
an altar, it must be consecrated according to the laws of liturgy, 
either as a whole in case of immovable altars, or the altar stone 
in case of movable altars. 

Every bishop, besides persons specially privileged, may con 
secrate portable altar stones. In reference to the consecration of 
immovable altars the law of Canon 1155 is to be observed. 

The consecration of an immovable altar without the conse 
cration of the church may take place any day ; it is more becom 
ing, however, to consecrate them on a Sunday, or a holiday of 
obligation. (Canon 1199.) 

1043. The immovable altar loses its consecration if the 
table or mensa is separated from the support even for a moment s 
time, in which case the Ordinary can allow a priest to again con 
secrate the altar with the shorter rite and formula. 

The immovable altar, as well as the portable altar stone, lose 
their consecration : 

1. if they are considerably broken, either for reason of the 
size of the break, or for reason of the place of anointing; 

2. if the relics are removed, or the cover of the sepulchre 
is broken or removed, excepting the case where either the bishop 
or his delegate remove the cover in order to fasten or repair it, 
or to substitute another, or to inspect the relics. 


A slight break of the cover does not induce desecration, and 
any priest can fill the crack with cement. 

The desecration of the church does not carry with it the 
desecration of the immovable or portable altars, and vice versa. 
(Canon 1200.) 

1044. Just as the church has its title so should also at least 
every immovable altar of the church have its own title. 

The primary title of the main altar should be the same as 
the title of the church. 

With the permission of the Ordinary the title of a movable 
altar may be changed, not, however, that of the immovable altar. 

Altars cannot be dedicated to the Blessed, not even in the 
churches and oratories to which their office and Mass is conceded, 
without permission of the Holy See. (Canon 1201.) 

1045. Immovable as well as portable altars must serve only 
for Divine services and specially for Holy Mass to the exclusion 
of any use for profane purposes. 

Under the altar bodies are not to be buried; bodies which 
perhaps are buried near an altar must at least be three feet away 
from the altar, otherwise it shall not be lawful to say Holy Mass 
on that altar until the body has been removed, (Canon 1202, ) 


Ecclesiastical Burial. 

1046. The bodies of the faithful must be buried; crema 
tion is forbidden. 

If any one has in any manner ordered his body to be cre 
mated, it shall be unlawful to execute the desire; if this order 
has been attached to a contract, last will, or any other act, it is 
to be considered as not added. (Canon 1203.) 

1047. Ecclesiastical burial consists in the transfer of the 
body to the church, the funeral services held over the same in 
church, and the depositing of it in the place lawfully appointed 
for the burial of the faithful departed. (Canon 1204.) 


1048. The bodies of the faithful are to be buried in a 
cemetery which has been blessed according to the rites given in 


the approved liturgical books, either with the solemn or simple 
blessing by the persons mentioned in Canons 1155 and 1156. 

In churches bodies shall not be buried except those of resi 
dential bishops, abbots or prelates nullius in their own churches, 
or of the Roman Pontiff, royal personages and Cardinals. (Canon 

1049. The Catholic Church has the right to possess her 
own cemeteries. 

Where this right of the Church is violated without hope of 
regaining the same, the Ordinaries should take care that the 
cemeteries belonging to the State are blessed, if those to be buried 
there are for the greater part Catholics, or at least that the Ca 
tholics may have a part of the cemetery reserved for themselves, 
which part is to be blessed. 

If even that much cannot be obtained, the individual graves 
ought to be blessed according to the ritual, each time the body 
of a Catholic is buried. (Canon 1206.) 

1050. The laws of the Canons concerning the interdict, 
violation, and reconciliation of churches, are to be applied also to 
cemeteries. (Canon 1207.) 

1051. The individual parishes should have their own ceme 
teries, unless the Ordinary should appoint one common cemetery 
for several parishes. 

The exempt religious may have a cemetery of their own, 
distinct from the common cemetery. 

Also other associations and private families may be per 
mitted by the bishop to have a special burial place, apart from 
the common cemetery, to be blessed like the cemetery. (Canon 

1052. In parochial cemeteries the faithful may with the 
written permission of the Ordinary, and in cemeteries proper to 
some ecclesiastical body with the written permission of the su 
perior of that organization, construct for themselves and their 
relations special burial places; these they may, with the consent 
of the Ordinary or the superior, also convey to others. 

The burial place for priests and clerics should, where it can 
be done, occupy a space, separate from the laity, in the more 
prominent part of the cemetery ; moreover, where it can be con 
veniently so arranged, a place should in this space be set apart 
for priests, and another for inferior ministers of the Church. 


The bodies of infants should likewise be buried in a plot 
specially set apart for them, if it can be conveniently arranged. 
(Canon 1209.) 

1053. Every cemetery should be well enclosed on all sides 
and carefully guarded. (Canon 1210.) 

1054. The Ordinaries of dioceses, and the pastors and su 
periors concerned, should see to it that in cemeteries there are not 
placed epitaphs, eulogistic inscriptions, and ornaments, out of 
harmony with Catholic faith and piety. (Canon 1211.) 

1055. Besides the blessed cemetery there should be, if pos 
sible, a separate place well enclosed and guarded, where the 
bodies of those are to be buried to whom ecclesiastical burial was 
denied. (Canon 1212.) 

1056. The body should not be buried, especially in cases of 
sudden death, until after such a length of time that is sufficient 
to remove all doubt of real death. (Canon 1213.) 

1057. Without the permission of the Ordinary it shall not 
be lawful anywhere to exhume a body which had received by the 
Church its final burial. 

The Ordinary shall not allow to exhume a body unless it 
can with certainty be distinguished from other bodies. (Canon 


Transfer of the Body to Church, Funeral Services 
and Interment. 

1058. Unless a grave reason stands in the way, the bodies 
of the faithful are to be brought to church, where the funeral 
services are to be held according to the rite prescribed in the ap 
proved liturgical books. (Canon 1215.) 

1059. The church to which the body is to be taken is by 
law the church which was the proper parish church of the de 
ceased, unless the deceased legitimately elected another church 
for his funeral. 

If the deceased belonged to several parish churches, the 
parish in which he died is entitled to the funeral. (Canon 1216.) 

1060. In a doubtful case as to the rights of another church 
the right of his own parish church always prevails. (Canon 


1061. If a person died outside his own parish church, the 
body is to be brought to his nearest proper parish church for the 
funeral services, when the journey can be made on foot without 
inconvenience; otherwise to the nearest parish church in the 
place where he died. 

The Ordinary may for his diocese determine under what 
conditions the body is, or is not, to be taken to the proper parish 
of the deceased. If the parish where the person died is not in the 
same diocese with his own parish, the rules of the Ordinary of 
the place where the person died are to be observed. 

Though it be inconvenient to take the body to the church 
where the funeral should take place, or to the place of burial, the 
family, the heirs, and others who are concerned, have the right, 
provided they pay the expenses, to take the body to the parish 
church of the deceased, or to the church he lawfully chose for his 
funeral. (Canon 1218.) 

1062. If a Cardinal dies in the City of Rome, the body 
is to be transferred for the funeral services to the church which 
the Roman Pontiff will appoint; if he dies outside the City, he 
is to be buried from the church highest in rank in the place of his 
demise, unless he chose another certain church for his funeral. 

The funeral of a residential bishop, also of those who are 
Cardinals, abbots and prelates nullius, is to take place, if it can 
be conveniently done, in the cathedral, abbatial or prelatial 
church; if the body cannot be brought there, the church first in 
rank in the place where he died is entitled to the funeral. If they 
have chosen a church from which they desired to be buried, that 
church is entitled to the funeral. (Canon 1219.) 

1063. Residential beneficiaries of a church are to be buried 
from the church where they hold a benefice, unless they have 
chosen another. (Canon 1220.) 

1064. Professed religious and novices are to be buried 
from the church or oratory of their house, or from any house of 
the Order or congregation; novices may choose another church 
for their burial. If religious die outside the house, their religious 
superior has the right to conduct the funeral procession from the 
place where he died to the church where the funeral services are 
to take place. 

If the religious dies far away from any house of his Order, 
and the superior does not wish to transfer the body to a house of 


the Order, which he is at liberty to do in accordance with Canon 
1218, 3, the religious is to be buried from the parish church 
where he died ; a novice may choose another church he prefers. 

The rules of this Canon concerning the novices apply also to 
servants of the religious who continually live within the enclosure 
of the religious house. If they die outside the religious house, 
their funeral is regulated by Canons 1216-1218. (Canon 1221.) 

1065. The persons who stayed in any religious house or 
college either as guests, or for reason of education or health, and 
died there, as also those who die in hospitals, arerto be buried 
from their own parish church or from the church they chose for 
their funeral, according to Canons 1216-1218; unless special law 
or privilege demand otherwise. Those who die in the seminary 
are, according to Canon 1368, to be buried by the rector who has 
parochial rights over the seminarians. (Canon 1222.) 

1066. All the faithful, unless they are explicitly forbidden 
by law, as for instance professed religious, may choose a church 
from which they wish to be buried, as also the cemetery in which 
they desire to be interred. 

The wife, and children who have reached the age of puberty, 
are in this matter of free choice of the funeral church absolutely 
independent of the authority of husband and father. (Canon 

1067. The free choice of the church for their funeral is 
forbidden : 

1. to children who have not reached the age of puberty. 
Parents or guardians may even after the death of these children 
choose any church from which they wish to bury them ; 

2. to professed religious of any rank or dignity, except 
those who are bishops. (Canon 1224.) 

1068. The election of a church for the funeral in order to 
be valid must needs fall on a church which has a right to perform 
funeral services, namely either a parish church or a church of 
regulars, or another having this right by special privilege. In 
churches of convents of nuns funeral services cannot be held for 
outsiders, except of those women who permanently lived within 
the enclosure, either as servants, or for reason of education, sick 
ness, housing; the patron of a church may be buried from the 
church of which he is the patron. (Canon 1225.) 

1069. A person may choose church or cemetery either him- 


self or through another by his command; the election of the 
church for the funeral, or the mandate to choose for another, 
may be proved in any legal form. 

If the election is to be made by another, he may make use of 
the mandate even after the death of the person who gave the 
mandate. (Canon 1226.) 

1070. The religious and the secular clergy are strictly for 
bidden to induce any person to vow, or swear, or otherwise 
promise, to choose their church or cemetery for burial, or not to 
change such election. If the clergy act against this rule, the elec 
tion of the dying person is null and void. (Canon 1227.) 

1071. If interment in a cemetery other than that of the 
proper parish of the deceased was desired by him, he shall be 
buried there, if those in charge of the cemetery do not object. 

If burial in the cemetery of the religious has been chosen by 
the deceased, the consent of the superior entitled by the constitu 
tion to grant such permission is required and suffices. (Canon 

1072. If a person has a burial place of his ancestry and 
does not choose another cemetery for burial, he is to be buried 
there if his body can be conveniently transferred, or parents, 
heirs, etc., wish to transfer him. 

The wife shares the burial place of her husband, and, if she 
was repeatedly married, that of the last husband. 

If there are several burial places of ancestors or of the hus 
band, the family of the deceased or the heirs shall select the place 
of burial. (Canon 1229.) 

1073. The proper pastor of the deceased has not only the 
right but also the duty, except in case of grave obstacle, to con 
duct the body from the house to the church, and to conduct the 
funeral services either in person or through another. 

If the person died in the territory of another parish and the 
body can be easily brought to the deceased person s own parish 
church, the proper pastor may enter the parish of another pastor, 
notifying him of the fact, and conduct the funeral procession 
to his church. 

If the funeral is to take place in a church of regulars, or 
another church exempt from the jurisdiction of the pastor, the 
proper pastor has the right to conduct the body from the house 
to the church under the procession cross of the church which has 


the funeral. The rector of the church which has been chosen for 
the funeral by the deceased conducts the funeral services. 

If the church chosen for the funeral is not exempt from the 
jurisdiction of the pastor, the celebration of the funeral services 
does not belong to the rector of the church, unless he can prove 
such right by special privilege, but to the pastor in whose terri 
tory the church is situated, provided the deceased was a subject 
of the pastor. 

The bodies of religious women and of their novices who died 
in the house, are carried by the sisters to the limit of the en 
closure; from there, if there is question of sisters not subject to 
the pastor, the chaplain conducts the body to the church or ora 
tory of the convent and conducts the funeral services. If the 
sisters are not exempt from the jurisdiction of the pastor, he con 
ducts the funeral services. Concerning sisters who die outside 
their house the general laws of the Canons shall be observed. 

If a Cardinal, or a bishop, die outside the City of Rome in a 
city where there is a bishop s see, the first dignitary of the canons 
of the cathedral has, according to Canon 397, n. 3, the right to 
conduct the funeral. 

If a body is sent to a place where the deceased did not have 
a parish of his own, nor where he chose a church for his funeral, 
the right to conduct all the funeral services, if they are to be held 
in that place, belongs to the cathedral church, or where there is 
no cathedral church, to the pastor of the church where the ceme 
tery in which the body is to be buried is situated, unless the cus 
tom of the place or the diocesan statutes ordain otherwise. 
(Canon 1230.) 

1074. The funeral services having been completed in the 
church, the body is to be interred in the cemetery of the same 
church, with the ceremonies prescribed by the rubrics of the litur 
gical books. The exceptions of Canons 1228 and 1229 in refer 
ence to the cemetery are to be observed. 

He who conducted the funeral services in church, has also 
the right and duty, excepting only a grave case of necessity, 
to conduct, either in person or through another priest, the body 
to the cemetery. ( Canon 1231.) 

1075. The priest who conducts the funeral procession to 
the church, or to the cemetery, has the right to pass through the 
territory of another parish or diocese with stole and cross, with 
out the permission of the pastor or the Ordinary. 


If the body is to be buried in a distant cemetery, to which 
the body cannot conveniently be carried, the pastor or rector who 
conducted the funeral cannot claim the right to accompany the 
body outside the limits of the city or town. (Canon 1232.) 

1076. The pastor cannot without a just and grave reason, 
to be approved by the Ordinary, forbid secular clergy, religious 
and pious societies invited by the family, or the heirs to assist at 
the funeral procession and at the services in church; the clergy 
of the church where the funeral services are held should first of 
all be invited. 

Societies, and emblems, hostile to the church, shall under no 
circumstances be permitted at the funeral. 

Those who assist at the funeral must respect the orders of 
the pastor in the arrangement of the funeral procession, saving 
each one s rights of precedence. 

The clergy shall never carry the body of any lay person no 
matter what dignity he held, or to what family he belonged. 
(Canon 1233.) 

1077. Ordinaries of dioceses shall, if such does not yet 
exist, draw up a schedule of funeral taxes or stipends for their 
territory, giving due consideration to the legitimate customs of 
particular places and the circumstances of persons and places. 
They shall consult the cathedral Chapters, or diocesan consultors, 
in making these regulations and if they think it advisable, they 
may also consult the deans and the pastors of the episcopal city. 
The schedule of taxes should for the various cases determine 
with moderation, and in such manner that all occasion for con 
tention and scandal is removed, the rights of all concerned. 

If in the schedule several classes of funerals are enumerated, 
the party who arranges for the funeral is to have a free choice. 
(Canon 1234.) 

1078. It is strictly forbidden to every one to exact more 
than what the diocesan schedule allows for funerals and anni 

The poor shall be given decent funeral services and burial 
free of charge, according to the laws of liturgy and the diocesan 
statutes. (Canon 1235.) 

1079. Whenever any of the faithful are not buried from 
their own parish church, the proper pastor is to receive the pa 
rochial portion of the funeral offerings, unless the particular law 


grants a privilege of exemption from this law, or if the deceased 
could not conveniently be brought to his parish church. 

If a person had several proper parishes, from any of which 
he could have easily been buried, and the funeral was held in an 
other church, the parochial portion is to be divided between the 
various proper pastors. (Canon 1236.) 

1080. The parochial portion solely is to be subtracted from 
the sum fixed by the diocesan tariff for the funeral services and 

If for any reason on the day of burial there are only minor 
functions, and the first solemn service for the deceased is held 
within one month from the date of burial, the parochial portion 
shall be taken also for that service. 

The quantity of the parochial portion is to be fixed by dio 
cesan schedule; if the parochial church of the deceased and the 
church which has the funeral belong to two different dioceses, the 
quantity of the parochial portion is to be reckoned according to 
the schedule of the diocese where the funeral takes place. (Canon 

1081. After the funeral, the minister shall mark down in 
the record of the deceased the name and age of the person, the 
names of parents or husband, date of death, the priest who ad 
ministered the last Sacraments, and what Sacraments were given, 
as also time and place of burial. (Canon 1238.) 


Persons to whom Ecclesiastical Burial must be Granted 

or Denied. 

1082. Unbaptized persons must not be buried from a 
church, with the exception of catechumens who die without hav 
ing, through no fault of theirs, received Baptism, and are there 
fore to be counted among those baptized. 

All baptized persons are to receive ecclesiastical burial, un 
less they are explicitly deprived of it by law. (Canon 1239.) 

1083. The following persons are to be deprived of eccles 
iastical burial, unless they have before death given some signs of 
repentance : 

1. notorious apostates from the Christian faith, and per 
sons notoriously known to belong to a heretical or schismatical 
sect, or to the masons, and other societies of the same kind; 


2. persons excommunicated or interdicted by condemna 
tory or declaratory sentence ; 

3. culpable suicides ; 

4. those dying in a duel or from wounds received in it ; 

5. those who have given orders to cremate their body; 

6. all other publicly known sinners. 

If in the foregoing cases some doubt arises, the Ordinary 
must be consulted if time permits. If the case remains doubtful, 
the body should be given ecclesiastical burial but in such a manner 
that scandal is avoided. (Canon 1240.) 

1084. When ecclesiastical burial had to be denied to a per 
son it is also forbidden to have for him any funeral Mass, anni 
versary, or other public funeral services. (Canon 1241.) 

1085. If it can be done without serious inconvenience, the 
body of an excommunicatus vitandus which had, against the laws 
of the Canons, been buried in a sacred place, is to be exhumed 
with permission of the bishop, and to be buried in that part of the 
cemetery which is not blessed. (Canon 1242.) 

Sacred Seasons. 

1086. Sacred seasons are the holidays and the days of fast 
and abstinence. ( Canon 1 243 . ) 

1087. The supreme authority of the Church alone has the 
right to establish, transfer and abolish holidays of obligation, 
and days of fast and abstinence, for the universal Church. 

Ordinaries of dioceses can for their territory appoint holi 
days of obligation, days of fast and abstinence only per modum 
actus, which means temporarily, not perpetually. (Canon 1244.) 

1088. Not only the Ordinary but also the pastor may in in 
dividual cases and for good reasons dispense individual subjects 
or individual families, also outside his territory, and transients 
in his territory, from the obligation of keeping the holidays of 
obligation, and from fast or abstinence, or from both, fast and 
abstinence combined. 

Ordinaries may also, for reason of great concourse of people 
on some special occasion, or for the sake of public health, dis 
pense the whole diocese, or place, from the obligation of fast or 
of abstinence, or of both. 


In clerical exempt religious communities the superiors have 
for the religious and all those persons mentioned in Canon 514, 
1, the same faculty as pastors. (Canon 1245.) 

1089. The time of a holiday of obligation, as well as the 
day of fast or abstinence, is to be reckoned from midnight to mid 
night. For the gaining of indulgences Canon 923 makes special 
provision. (Canon 1246.) 


Holidays of Obligation. 

1090. Holidays of obligation for the universal Church are 
only the following : All the Sundays, the feasts of Christmas, Cir 
cumcision, Epiphany, Ascension, Corpus Christi, Immaculate 
Conception, Assumption, St. Joseph, SS. Peter and Paul, and, 
All Saints . 

The patron feasts are no longer holidays of obligation, but 
the Ordinaries of dioceses can transfer the external solemnity to 
the next following Sunday. 

If any of the above mentioned feasts have been lawfully 
abolished or transferred in some country, nothing should be done 
concerning these feasts without consulting the Holy See. In the 
United States four of these feasts are abolished as holidays of 
obligation, namely Epiphany, Corpus Christi, St. Joseph, and SS. 
Peter and Paul. ( Canon 1247. ) 

1091. On holidays of obligation Holy Mass must be heard 
and the people must abstain from servile work and from legal ac 
tions; and unless legitimate custom or special indults make an 
exception, public sales, fairs and other public buying and selling 
are forbidden. (Canon 1248.) 

1092. One may fulfil the obligation of hearing Mass by as 
sisting at Holy Mass celebrated in any Catholic Rite, either in the 
open air or in any church, public or semi-public oratory, and in 
the private chapels in cemeteries spoken of in Canon 1190; in 
the oratories in private houses, however, only those to whom the 
privilege is granted by the Holy See can fulfill the duty of hear 
ing Mass. (Canon 1249.) 


Fast and Abstinence. 

1093. The law of abstinence forbids the eating of flesh meat 
and of broth made of meat, but does not exclude the use of eggs, 


milk and the products of milk (namely cheese and butter), and 
any seasonings of food, even those made from the fat of animals. 
(Canon 1250.) 

1094. The law of fasting ordains that only one full meal a 
day be taken, but does not forbid a small amount of food in the 
morning and in the evening. As regards the kind of food, and 
the amount, that may be taken, the approved customs of one s 
locality are to be observed. 

One may partake of both fish and flesh meat at the same 
meal. The full meal may be taken in the evening and the colla 
tion at noon. (Canon 1251.) 

1095. Abstinence only is enjoined on the Fridays through 
out the year. 

Fast and abstinence are prescribed on the following days: 
Ash Wednesday, the Fridays and Saturdays in Lent, Ember days, 
the Vigils of Pentecost, of the Assumption, of All Saints Day, 
and of Christmas Day. 

Fast only is ordained for all the other days of Lent. 

On Sundays and holidays jf obligation, except on a holiday 
in Lent, there is neither fast nor abstinence, and if a vigil that is 
a fastday falls on a Sunday the fast is not to be anticipated on 
Saturday but is dropped altogether that year. The Lenten fast 
and abstinence cease at twelve o clock noon on Holy Saturday. 
(Canon 1252.) 

1096. The foregoing Canons make no change in particular 
indults; they do not affect the obligations imposed by vow, either 
of individual persons or communities, nor alter the constitutions 
and rules of religious organizations and approved institutes of 
men or women living in community, even those without vows. 
(Canon 1253.) 

1097. The law of abstinence binds all who have completed 
their seventh year of age. 

The law of fasting binds all who have completed their 
twenty-first year until the beginning of their sixtieth year. 
(Canon 1254.) 

In the matter of fast and abstinence days there remains some 
difficulty (1) in reference to the particular fastdays on Fridays 
in Advent which were of obligation in many dioceses in the 
United States, and (2) in regard to the faculties of the bishops 
for the benefit of soldiers in the army and navy and of working 


people. A recent decree of the Consistorial Congregation, of 
April 25, 1918, seems to indicate that the Holy See desires uni 
formity of discipline also in the matter of fast and abstinence. 
To that end the rules for abstinence days have been considerably 
mitigated and for special occurrences Canon 1245, cited above, 
gives to bishops and pastors sufficient power to dispense from 
fast and abstinence. 

The ten, five, three years faculties, and the Brief of twenty- 
five years faculties, are specially mentioned by the decree as 
abolished. The indult for working people had, moreover, become 
unnecessary since the Code makes liberal allowance for the use 
of flesh meat in Lent. Soldiers serving in army and navy usually 
received in the various countries special concessions, by which 
they were obliged to abstain only on a few days in the year from 
flesh meat. In the United States there were six of such days, 
namely, Ash Wednesday, the last three days of Holy Week and 
the vigils of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and of Christ 
mas. Since it is almost impossible for soldiers in actual service 
to observe the law of abstinence, since they have to take the food 
dealt out to them, the Holy See will certainly continue to release 
them from this law of the Church. This seems also indicated in 
number 3 of the decree referred to above, namely, that the con 
cessions obtained by the Ordinaries either on account of the 
present war, or for reasons of peculiar circumstances, are not in 
cluded in this recall of faculties. In the formula of faculties, of 
the chaplains in the army and navy of the United States in the 
present war the following days are enumerated as fast and ab 
stinence days for the men in military service: Ash Wednesday, 
Vigil of Christmas, Good Friday and the forenoon of Holy 



1098. To the blessed Trinity and to each of the three Per 
sons, and to Christ our Lord also under the sacramental species, 
is due the cult of latria; to the blessed Virgin Mary the cult of 
hyperdulia; to the other saints reigning with Christ in heaven the 
cult of dulia. 

To sacred relics and images is due the veneration and cult 
proper to the person to which the relics and images refer. (Canon 


1099. The cult which is exhibited, and offered to God, or to 
the Saints and Blessed, in the name of the Church by appointed 
ministers, in the form and manner prescribed by the Church, is 
called public, otherwise private. (Canon 1256.) 

1100. The Holy See alone has the right to enact the form 
of the sacred liturgy, as well as to approve the liturgical books. 
(Canon 1257.) 

1101. It is unlawful for the faithful to assist in any active 
manner, or to take part, in the sacred services of non-Catholics. 

Merely passive or material presence may be tolerated on ac 
count of a civil office, or for the purpose of showing respect to 
persons, to be approved in doubtful cases by the bishop for grave 
reasons, at funerals of non-Catholics, at their marriages, and 
similar solemnities, provided there is danger of neither perver 
sion nor scandal. (Canon 1258.) 

1102. Prayers and pious exercises in churches or oratories 
shall not be permitted without the revision and express permission 
of the bishop of the diocese, who in more difficult cases shall sub 
mit the entire matter to the Holy See. 

The Ordinary of the diocese cannot approve new litanies to 
be recited publicly. (Canon 1259.) 

1103. The ministers of the Church must depend solely on 
the authority of the ecclesiastical superiors in the exercise of wor 
ship. (Canon 1260.) 

1104. The Ordinaries should watch that in Divine worship 
the rules of the Sacred Canons are faithfully observed, and that 
neither in public nor in private worship, nor in the private lives 
of the faithful, any superstitious practices are introduced, or any 
thing contrary to faith, or to the ecclesiastical tradition, or any 
thing that has the appearance of sordid profit-making. 

If the Ordinary publishes any regulations concerning these 
matters all his subjects are held to observe those rules, even the 
exempt religious, and he may visit their churches and public ora 
tories for this purpose. (Canon 1261.) 

1105. It is to be desired that, in harmony with the ancient 
discipline of the Church, the women should in church be separate 
from the men. 

The men should assist at Divine services, either in church 
or outside of it, with uncovered heads, unless the approved cus 
toms of the people or peculiar circumstances demand the con- 


trary; the women should assist in modest dress and with heads 
covered, especially when they approach the table of the Lord. 
(Canon 1262.) 

1106. Magistrates may, according to their rank and dig 
nity, have a special place in the church, in as far as the liturgical 
laws permit this. 

Without the explicit permission of the Ordinary none of the 
faithful may have a pew in church reserved for himself and his 
family; the Ordinary should not give his consent except where 
there are enough pews to accommodate the rest of the people. 

There is always the tacit understanding in these permissions 
that the Ordinary may at any time for a good reason recall the 
permission, no matter for what length of time individuals have 
held such pews. (Canon 1263.) 

1107. Musical compositions rendered either by the organ, 
or other instruments, or voice, which contain anything lascivious 
and improper must absolutely be kept out of church ; the liturgical 
laws concerning sacred music shall be observed. 

Religious women, in as far as they are allowed by their con 
stitutions and the laws of liturgy and of the bishop to sing in their 
own church or public oratory, shall occupy a place where they 
cannot be seen by the people. (Canon 1264.) 

The Keeping and Cult of the Blessed Sacrament. 

1108. The Blessed Sacrament may be kept in the following 
churches, if there is a person to guard it, and if the priest as a 
rule celebrates Holy Mass at least once a week in the place : 

1. it must be kept in the cathedral church and in the princi 
pal church of an abbey and of a prelacy nullius, vicariate and pre 
fecture apostolic, in every parochial and quasi-parochial church, 
and in a church attached to houses of exempt religious men and 
women ; 

2. it may be kept with the permission of the Ordinary in 
collegiate churches and in the principal, public or semi-public, ora 
tory of religious houses and charitable institutions, as also in ec 
clesiastical colleges in charge of either the secular clergy or of 

In other churches and oratories it may be kept only by indult 


of the Holy See. The Ordinary can for a good reason grant this 
permission to a church or public oratory only per modum actus, 
that is to say, for a special occasion, not perpetually. 

No one is allowed to keep the Blessed Sacrament in his pri 
vate house, or to carry it with him when travelling. (Canon 

1109. The churches in which the Blessed Sacrament is 
kept, especially parochial churches, should be open to the faith 
ful for at least a few hours each day. (Canon 1266.) 

1110. In a religious house, or pious institute, the Blessed 
Sacrament cannot be kept except in the church or principal ora 
tory, and in the monasteries of nuns with solemn vows it cannot 
be kept inside the choir or the enclosure ; all privileges to the con 
trary are revoked. (Canon 1267.) 

1111. The Blessed Sacrament cannot habitually be kept on 
more than one altar of a church. 

It should be placed in the most prominent and best orna 
mented place in church and, therefore, as a rule on the main al 
tar unless another altar is more convenient and appropriate for 
the veneration and cult of this great Sacrament. The liturgical 
laws concerning the last three days of Holy Week are to be ob 

In cathedral, collegiate and conventual churches in which 
choral functions are conducted at the main altar, it is, as a rule, 
more convenient not to keep the Blessed Sacrament on the main 
altar but on a side altar, in order that the Blessed Sacrament may 
not be an impediment to such functions. 

The rectors of churches should see to it that the altar of the 
Blessed Sacrament be above all others decorated and ornamented, 
so as to move the faithful to greater piety and devotion. (Canon 

1112. The Blessed Sacrament must be kept in an immov 
able tabernacle, placed in the middle of the altar. 

The tabernacle should be beautifully constructed securely 
closed on all sides, properly ornamented in accordance with the 
liturgical laws, free from all other things, and guarded so well 
that there is no danger of profanation. 

For a grave reason and with the approval of the bishop it is 
lawful to take the Blessed Sacrament out of the tabernacle over 
night and to keep it in a safer but decent place on a corporal, and 
with a light burning before it. 


The key of the tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacrament 
is kept must be most carefully guarded ; this is a grave obligation 
of conscience on the part of the priest who has charge of the 
church or oratory. (Canon 1269.) 

1113. A sufficient number of particles for the Communion 
of the sick and of the faithful in general shall always be kept in 
a pyx of solid and respectable material, and it must be kept clean 
and well covered, and veiled with a veil of white silk. (Canon 

1114. Before the tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacra 
ment is kept, there should burn at least one lamp day and night 
fed either with olive oil or bee s wax. Where olive oil is not 
easily obtainable, the bishop may according to his prudent judg 
ment allow the use of other oils, which should, as far as possible, 
be vegetable oils. (Canon 1271.) 

1115. The consecrated hosts, either for the Communion 
of the faithful or for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 
must be fresh and are to be renewed frequently, consuming the 
consecrated species as prescribed, so that there may be no danger 
of corruption. The instructions of the Ordinary in this matter 
must be faithfully observed. (Canon 1272.) 

1116. Those whose work it is to give religious instruction 
to the faithful, shall not neglect to excite in their minds devotion 
towards the Blessed Eucharist and to admonish them to assist at 
Holy Mass and to visit the Blessed Sacrament not only on Sun 
days and holidays of obligation, but also frequently during the 
week. (Canon 1273.) 

1117. In churches and oratories that have received per 
mission to keep the Blessed Sacrament, private exposition, that 
is to say with the ciborium, can be held for any good reason also 
without permission of the Ordinary. Public exposition, that is 
to say, with the ostensorium, may be held in all churches on the 
feast of Corpus Christi and during the octave, both during Holy 
Mass and at vespers. At other times, public exposition may be 
held only for good and serious reasons, with permission of the 
bishop, and this permission is required also in churches of ex 
empt regulars. 

The exposition and reposition of the Blessed Sacrament may 
be done by either priest or deacon ; the priest only can give bene 
diction with the Blessed Sacrament ; the deacon is not allowed to 


give it except in the case where he, according to Canon 845, 2, 
takes the holy viaticum to the sick. (Canon 1274.) 

1118. The Forty Hours Devotion shall as solemnly as 
possible be celebrated in all parochial and other churches where 
the Blessed Sacrament is habitually preserved on the days fixed 
by the bishop. Where the exposition cannot without great in 
convenience or danger of irreverence be continued day and night 
for forty consecutive hours, the Ordinary should arrange that 
the exposition is held for several hours of the day on certain 
days, (Canon 1275.) 

The Cult of the Saints, of Sacred Images and Relics. 

1119. The veneration of the servants of God reigning with 
Christ, and of their relics and images, is good and useful; all the 
faithful should above all honor with filial affection the blessed 
Virgin Mary. (Canon 1276.) 

1120. Only those servants of God may be publicly vene 
rated who have been inserted by the Church in the catalog of the 
Saints or Blessed. 

Those proclaimed Saints by the Church are to receive the 
cult of dulia, and they may be honored throughout the universal 
Church with any of the acts of that form of worship; the 
Blessed, however, cannot be venerated publicly except in the 
places and in the form specified by the Roman Pontiff. (Canon 

1121. The Saints of nations, dioceses, provinces, confra 
ternities, religious organizations, and of other places and organi 
zations, may laudably be chosen as patrons, and when the Holy 
See confirms such election they are constituted as the patrons; 
the Blessed cannot be chosen without a special indult of the Holy 
See. (Canon 1278.) 

1122. No one is without the approval of the Ordinary al 
lowed to place, or cause to be placed, in any church including 
those exempt, or in any other sacred places, an unusual picture. 

The Ordinary shall not approve sacred images, to be ex 
posed to the veneration of the faithful, that do not agree with 
the approved usage of the Church. 

The Ordinary shall not allow in church and other sacred 


places representations which are dogmatically incorrect, or are 
not executed with proper decency and respect, or may give to 
ignorant people an occasion of error. 

If the images exposed for public veneration are to be 
solemnly blessed, such blessing is reserved to the Ordinary, who 
may, however, delegate a priest for that purpose. (Canon 

1123. Precious images, that is to say, such that are valu 
able for their antiquity, art or veneration, and exposed for public 
worship of the faithful in churches and public oratories, must, 
when in need of repair, not be restored without the written con 
sent of the Ordinary, who shall, before giving the permission, 
consult experts in the matter. (Canon 1280.) 

1124. Prominent relics and images of great value, and any 
relic or image which are honored by great veneration of the 
people, cannot validly be given away, nor be perpetually trans 
ferred to another church, without permission of the Holy See. 

Prominent relics of Saints or Blessed are the entire body, 
or the head, arm, forearm, heart, tongue, hand, leg, or that part 
of the body in which the martyr suffered, provided it be entire 
and not small. (Canon 1281.) 

1125. Prominent relics of Saints or Blessed may not be 
kept in private houses and private oratories without explicit per 
mission of the Ordinary. 

Small relics may be kept with due honor in the houses of the 
faithful, or carried on their persons. (Canon 1282.) 

1126. Only those relics may be exposed to public venera 
tion in any, even exempt, churches which are authenticated by 
document of a Cardinal, or the bishop of the diocese, or by an 
other ecclesiastic who has by Apostolic indult the faculty to au 
thenticate relics. 

The vicar general cannot authenticate relics without a spe 
cial mandate of the Ordinary. (Canon 1283.) 

1127. The local Ordinaries should prudently withdraw 
from the veneration of the people relics which they do not know 
with certainty to be genuine. (Canon 1284.) 

1128. If the document of authentication of sacred relics 
has been lost through civil disturbances, or for any other cause, 
the relics must not be exposed to public veneration until the 


bishop has given his approval ; the vicar general requires a special 
mandate of the Ordinary to act in this matter. 

Relics venerated from ancient times are to continue to re 
ceive the same veneration, unless in some particular case it is 
known with certainty that they are false or supposititious. 
(Canon 1285.) 

1129. The local Ordinaries shall forbid the discussion of 
questions concerning the authenticity of sacred relics, especially 
by words exciting ridicule and contempt of educated people, in 
sermons, books, papers and magazines intended for devotional 
purposes, when their authenticity is objected to from mere con 
jecture, or only probable reason, or prepossessed opinions. 
(Canon 1286.) 

1130. Relics that are to be exposed must be enclosed in a 
case and sealed. 

Relics of the Holy Cross must never be exposed to the vene 
ration of the public enclosed in the same case with relics of the 
Saints, but must be placed in a separate case. 

The relics of the Blessed must not without special indult be 
carried in processions, nor exposed in any other churches than 
those to which the Holy See has given the faculty to say their 
office and Mass. (Canon 1287.) 

1131. The relics of the Holy Cross which the bishop may 
have in his pectoral cross become the property of the cathedral 
church at his death, to be transmitted to the succeeding bishop. 
If the deceased bishop had the government of several dioceses, 
the relic is to belong to the cathedral church of the diocese in 
which he died; if he died outside the diocese, to that diocese from 
which he last departed. (Canon 1288.) 

1132. It is forbidden to sell sacred relics. The Ordinaries, 
deans, pastors and others having the care of souls shall watch 
that the sacred relics, especially those of the Holy Cross, are not 
sold together with the inheritance and with sale of other goods, 
nor pass into the hands of non-Catholics. 

The rectors of churches, and others whose duty this is, shall 
zealously watch that the relics are not in any way profaned, or 
are lost through carelessness of people, or are kept in a manner 
showing want of proper respect. (Canon 1289.) 


Sacred Processions. 

1133. By the term sacred processions are meant the solemn 
supplications made marching in order under the leadership of 
the clergy from one sacred place to another for the purpose of 
stirring up the devotion of the people, or to commemorate God s 
benefits and to thank Him, or to implore Divine help. 

Ordinary processions are those held on fixed days of the 
year according to the rules of the liturgical books or the custom 
of the churches; extraordinary those appointed on other days 
for some public cause. (Canon 1290.) 

1134. Unless immemorial custom or the circumstances of 
places demand, in the judgment of the bishop, otherwise, there 
shall be but one solemn and public procession through the streets 
of a town or city on the feast of Corpus Christi, to be held by 
the church first in rank of dignity. In this procession must take 
part all the secular clergy and the religious communities of men, 
also the exempt religious, and the confraternities of laymen. 
Regulars who perpetually live in strict enclosure, and those who 
are more than three miles from the town or city, need not come 
to the procession. 

The other parishes and churches, secular or religious, may 
during the octave institute their own processions outside their 
church; where there are several churches, the Ordinary shall ap 
point for each the day, hour and course of the procession. 
(Canon 1291.) 

1135. The Ordinary with the advice of the cathedral Chap 
ter may for a public cause order extraordinary processions, at 
which, the same as at ordinary ones, all those spoken of in 
Canon 1291, 1, must take part. (Canon 1292.) 

1136. The religious, exempt or non-exempt, cannot hold 
processions outside their churches and cloister without the per 
mission of the Ordinary, with the exception of the Corpus Christi 
procession spoken of in Canon 1291, 2. (Canon 1293.) 

1137. Neither the pastor nor anyone else is allowed with 
out permission from the bishop to introduce new processions or 
to change or abolish the usual ones. 

At the processions proper to any church all the clergy at 
tached to that church must be present. (Canon 1294.) 


1138. The Ordinary shall see to it that the processions are 
performed in good order, stopping all abuse that might have 
crept in, so that in these pious and religious acts proper sobriety 
and reverence may be observed by all. (Canon 1295.) 


Sacred Utensils. 

1139. The sacred utensils, specially those which are 
blessed or consecrated for use in the public worship of the 
Church, are to be carefully guarded in the sacristy of the church, 
or in another safe and decent place, and must not be used for 
profane purposes. 

As prescribed by Canon 1522, 2, 3, an inventory shall 
be made and carefully kept of all the sacred utensils. 

The material and form of the sacred utensils must be in 
conformity with the liturgical laws, with ecclesiastical tradition, 
and, as far as possible, with the laws of sacred art. (Canon 

1140. Those who are, according to Canon 1186, obliged 
to attend to the repairs of the church edifice are also to provide 
the necessary utensils for Divine worship, unless other pro 
visions are made. (Canon 1297.) 

1141. The sacred utensils, and all other objects per 
petually destined for Divine worship, in the possession of a de 
ceased Cardinal, who had his domicile in the City of Rome 
though he was a suburban bishop or an abbot nullius, belong to 
the papal treasury, no matter by what kind of revenue they were 
acquired, unless the Cardinal donated or willed them by testa 
ment to some church, public oratory, pious institution, or to an 
ecclesiastical or religious person. The rings and pectoral crosses, 
also those with sacred relics, are excepted from this rule. 

It is to be desired that the Cardinal who wishes to make 
use of the faculty to donate or will his sacred utensils, should 
leave at least a part of them to the churches of which he held 
the title, administration or trust. (Canon 1298.) 

1142. The sacred utensils of a deceased residential bishop, 
though vested with the Cardinalitial dignity, accrue to his cathe 
dral church, with the exception of the rings and pectoral crosses 
with or without relics, and all sacred utensils of any kind which 


can be proved to have been acquired by the deceased bishop with 
other than the funds of the diocese, and have not been turned 
over to the proprietorship of the church. The pectoral cross 
with relics of the Holy Cross must, according to Canon 1288, 
remain with the bishop s see for the use of the succeeding bishop. 

If the deceased bishop ruled two or more dioceses in suc 
cession, or at the same time presided over two or more dioceses 
which had been united, or which were given to him for per 
petual administration, each diocese having its own proper cathe 
dral church, the sacred utensils of the bishop that are known to 
have been acquired by the funds of one only of these dioceses 
accrue to the cathedral of that diocese; otherwise they must be 
equally divided between the various cathedral churches, provided 
the revenues of the dioceses are not divided, but constitute per 
petually only one mensa episcopalis; if the revenues of each 
cathedral are kept separate, the sacred utensils are to be divided 
between the several cathedral churches in proportion to the 
amount of revenue the bishop received from each church, and the 
length of time he presided over the churches. 

The bishop is obliged to make an inventory in authentic 
form of the sacred utensils in which he should truthfully state 
when they were acquired, and point out distinctly those utensils 
which he did not obtain by church funds, but either bought with 
his own money or acquired by personal donations ; otherwise the 
law presumes that all were acquired by church funds. (Canon 

1143. The ruks of the preceding Canon are also to be 
applied to a cleric who obtained a secular or religious benefice in 
any church. (Canon 1300.) 

1144. Cardinals, residential bishops and all other clerics 
are bound to take care that by a last will, or other document 
drawn up in the form recognized by civil law the canonical laws 
laid down in Canons 1298-1300 may have effect also in the civil 

Wherefore they shall in good time appoint, in a manner 
recognized by civil law, a person, according to Canon 380, who 
at their death shall take possession not only of the sacred uten 
sils, but also of all books, documents, and all other goods belong 
ing to the church, found in their house, and send them where 
they belong. (Canon 1301.) 


1145. The rectors of churches and all others to whom the 
care of sacred utensils is entrusted shall see to it that they are 
kept in good condition. (Canon 1302.) 

1146. The cathedral church must furnish the bishop gra 
tuitously with the sacred utensils and all other objects he needs 
for the celebration of Holy Mass, and of other pontifical func 
tions, even when he celebrates privately, not only in the cathe 
dral church, but also in other churches of the episcopal city or 
its suburbs. 

If a church is very poor the Ordinary can permit that a 
moderate fee is demanded of priests saying Holy Mass there, to 
cover the expenses for the sacred utensils and other things needed 
for Holy Mass. 

The bishop, or by special mandate the vicar general and 
vicar capitular, has the right to define the amount of the fee and 
no one, not even exempt religious, are allowed to demand more. 

The bishop should, if possible, define the fee for the whole 
diocese at the time of the synod, otherwise outside the synod 
with the advice of the Chapter. (Canon 1303.) 

1147. The power of blessing those sacred utensils which 
must, according to the liturgical laws be blessed before they are 
used for their proper purpose, is given to : 

1. all Cardinals and bishops; 

2. local Ordinaries not having episcopal consecration, for 
the churches and oratories of their own territory; 

3. pastors for the churches and oratories within the limits 
of their parish, and rectors of churches for their churches ; 

4. priests delegated by the Ordinary, within the limits of 
the delegation and the jurisdiction of the delegating Ordinary; 

5. religious superiors, and priests of the same Order dele 
gated by them, for their own churches and oratories, and for the 
churches of the nuns subject to them. (Canon 1304.) 

1148. Sacred utensils that have been blessed or consecrated 
lose their blessing or consecration : 

1. if they suffered such damage or change that they lost 
their original shape and are no longer fit for their purpose ; 

2. if they have been used for unbecoming purposes, or 
have been exposed for public sale. 

Chalice and paten do not lose their consecration by the wear 
ing off or renewal of the gold plating, saving the grave obliga- 

VOW 269 

tion of having the gold plating renewed when worn out. (Canon 

1149. Care must be taken that the chalice and paten, and 
unwashed purificators, palls and corporals, are not touched ex 
cept by clerics or those who have the custody of these utensils. 

The purificators, palls and corporals used in the Holy Mass 
shall not be given to lay persons, even religious, to be washed 
until they have first been washed by a cleric in major orders ; the 
water of the first washing shall be poured into the sacrarium, 
or, if there is none, into the fire. (Canon 1306.) 


Vow and Oath. 



1150. A vow is a free and deliberate promise to God of 
something possible and better, and it imposes an obligation by 
reason of the virtue of religion. 

All persons having sufficient use of reason in proportion 
to the object of the vow, may make a vow unless they are forbid 
den by law. 

A vow made from grave, unjust fear is invalid by the very 
fact. (Canon 1307.) 

1151. A vow is called public, if it is accepted in the name 
of the Church by a legitimate ecclesiastical superior; otherwise 
it is private; 

Solemn, if recognized as such by the Church; otherwise it 
is simple; 

Reserved, if dispensation from it can be given only by the 
Holy See; 

Personal, if an act of the person making the vow is prom 
ised; Real, if some object is promised; Mixed, if it partakes of 
the nature of both, personal and real vow. (Canon 1308.) 

1152. Of private vows there are reserved to the Holy See 
these two: the vow of perfect and perpetual chastity, and, the 
vow to enter a religious Order in which solemn vows are taken, 
if they are made unconditionally, and after the completion of 
the eighteenth year of age. (Canon 1309.) 


1153. By virtue of a vow no one else except the one 
making the vow is held. 

The obligation of a real vow goes over to the heirs, as also 
the mixed vow to the extent as it is real. (Canon 1310. ) 

1154. The vow ceases in the following cases : when the time 
expires which was annexed to it for the finishing of the obliga 
tion; by substantial change of the object which was promised; by 
cessation of the condition on which a vow was made dependent 
or its final purpose; by irritation, dispensation, commutation. 
(Canon 1311.) 

1155. He who has dominative power over the will of the 
person making a vow, can annul his or her vows validly, and for 
good cause also licitly, so that its obligation does in no way re 
vive afterwards. 

He who has not indeed power over the will of another, but 
over the matter which is made the object of the promise, can sus 
pend the obligation of the vow for such a length of time as the 
fulfilment of the vow would be to his prejudice. (Canon 1312.) 

1156. Vows which are not reserved, and the dispensation 
from which does not injure the acquired rights of a third party, 
may for good reason be dispensed with : 

1. by the Ordinary of the diocese, who can dispense all his 
subjects and the pcregrini; 

2. the religious superior in clerical exempt religious com 
munities, who dispenses his subjects in the Order, and all those 
habitually living under the same roof with his religious ; 

3. persons delegated by the Holy See to dispense from 
vows. (Canon 1313.) 

1157. The good work promised in a non-reserved vow can 
be commuted into a better, or an equal one, by the individual him 
self who made the vow; but for changing it into a lesser work 
the power of dispensation is required, according to the rules of 
the foregoing Canon. (Canon 1314.) 

1158. Vows made before entering a religious community 
are suspended as long as the person remains in the religious life. 
(Canon 1315.) CHAPTER n< 


1159. An oath, which is an invocation of the Divine name 
in witness of the truth, cannot be taken except with truth, judg 
ment and justice. 

OATH 271 

An oath which the Canons demand or permit cannot validly 
be taken by proxy. ( Canon 1316.) 

1160. The person who freely takes an oath to do some 
work is held by the special obligation of religion to do what he 
has promised under oath. 

An oath exacted by violence or grave fear is valid, but it 
may be released by the ecclesiastical superior. 

An oath, made without violence or deceit, by which a per 
son renounces some private good or favor given him by the law 
itself must be observed whenever it does not involve the ruin of 
the soul . ( Canon 1317.) 

1161. A promissory oath follows the nature and conditions 
of the act to which the oath is added. 

If an act involving directly the damage of others, or the 
prejudice of the common weal, or eternal salvation, is confirmed 
by an oath, the act does not thereby acquire any firmness. (Canon 

1162. The obligation induced by a promissory oath ceases : 

1. if it is released by him in whose favor the oath was 

2. if the object promised by oath has changed substantially, 
or if, on account of changed circumstances the oath becomes 
either sinful or altogether a matter of indifference, or, finally, 
if it impedes a higher good ; 

3. if the final purpose or the condition under which the 
oath was taken ceases ; 

4. by annulment, dispensation, commutation, according to 
Canon 1320. (Canon 1319.) 

1163. Those who have the power to annul, dispense, com 
mute vows, have the same power also over a promissory oath; 
if, however, the dispensation from an oath turns to the prejudice 
of others who are not willing to remit the obligation, the Holy 
See alone can dispense from such an oath for reason of the neces 
sity or utility of the Church. (Canon 1320.) 

1164. An oath must be strictly interpreted, according to 
law, and the intention of the person taking the oath, or, if he 
should act with deceit, according to the intention of the one to 
whom the oath was made. (Canon 1321.) 



1165. The Lord Jesus Christ confided to the Church the 
deposit of faith, in order that she, with the perpetual assistance 
of the Holy Ghost, may faithfully preserve and expound the re 
vealed doctrine. 

The Church has independently of any civil power the right 
and the duty to teach all nations the evangelical doctrine ; and all 
are bound by Divine law to learn this doctrine, and to embrace 
the true Church of God. (Canon 1322.) 

1166. By Divine and Catholic faith must be believed all 
those truths contained in the written or traditional Word of God, 
and which are either in solemn judgment or by the ordinary and 
universal teaching authority, proposed to our belief by the 
Church, as Divinely revealed truths. 

The solemn judgment in this matter is reserved either to a 
General Council, or to the Roman Pontiff speaking ex cathedra, 
that is to say, in his supreme, teaching authority. 

No part of the religious teaching is to be understood as dog 
matically declared and defined, unless such declaration or defini 
tion is clearly known to have been made. (Canon 1323.) 

1167. It is not sufficient to avoid heretical error, but also 
all those errors which more or less approach heresy. Wherefore 
all constitutions and decrees by which the Holy See has con 
demned and prohibited such false opinions must be observed. 
(Canon 1324^) 

1168. The faithful are in conscience obliged to profess 
their faith publicly whenever their silence, subterfuge, or manner 
of acting, imports an implicit denial of their faith, a contempt 
of religion, or an insult to God, or scandal to the neighbor. 

A baptized Christian, who calls himself a Christian, yet 
obstinately denies or calls into doubt any of the truths to be 
believed by Divine and Catholic faith, is a heretic; if he aban 
dons the Christian faith altogether he is called an apostate; if, 
finally, he refuses to be subject to the Supreme Pontiff, or to have 
communication with the members of the Church subject to the 
Roman Pontiff, he is a schismatic. 

The Catholics shall not enter into any dispute or confer 
ences with non-Catholics, especially public ones, without permis- 


sion of the Holy See, or, in urgent case, of the Ordinary. (Canon 

1169. The bishops also, though not possessing, either indi 
vidually nor in particular councils, the authority of infallible 
teachers, are, under the authority of the Roman Pontiff, truly 
doctors and teachers for the faithful committed to their care. 
(Canon 1326.) 


Preaching of the Word of God. 

1170. The office of preaching the Catholic faith is prin 
cipally committed to the Roman Pontiff for the universal Church, 
and to the bishops for the subjects of their diocese. 

The bishops are bound to preach in person the holy Gospel, 
unless they are legitimately impeded ; in addition they must em 
ploy, besides the pastors, the help of other qualified persons for 
the salutary fulfilment of the office of preaching. (Canon 1327.) 

1171. No one is allowed to exercise the ministry of preach 
ing unless he has received commission from the legitimate su 
perior, by special faculty or by appointment to an office to which 
the office of preaching is attached by the sacred Canons. (Canon 


Catechetical Instruction. 

1172. It is the proper and most serious office of the pastors 
of souls to attend to the catechetical instruction Of the Christian 
people. (Canon 1329.) 

1173. The pastor must: 

1. at stated times each year prepare, by instructions on 
several days in succession, the children for the reception of the 
Sacraments of Penance and Confirmation; 

2. prepare the children with all possible care, preferably 
in Lent if nothing stands in the way, to receive first holy Com 
munion worthily. (Canon 1330.) 

1174. Besides the instructions for first holy Communion, 
spoken of in the preceding Canon, the pastor shall instruct more 
fully in Christian doctrine the children who recently made their 
first Communion. (Canon 1331.) 

1175. On Sundays and other holidays of obligation the 


pastor must at an hour more convenient for the majority of 
the faithful give catechetical instruction to the adults, in such a 
form as is best suited to their capacity. (Canon 1332.) 

1176. The pastor must, for the purpose of religious in 
struction of the children, if he is legitimately impeded, employ 
the help of other priests in the parish, and also, if necessary, of 
pious lay people, especially those who belong to the sodality of 
Christian Doctrine, or a similar society established in the parish. 

The priests and other clerics, unless excused by legitimate 
impediment, must assist their own pastor in this most holy work, 
and they can be commanded to do so by the Ordinary, also under 
threat of ecclesiastical penalties. (Canon 1333.) 

1177. If according to the judgment of the bishop the help 
of the religious is deemed necessary for the catechetical instruc 
tion of the people, the religious superiors, even though exempt, 
are obliged, when so requested by the bishop, to give catechetical 
instruction either in person or through their subjects, especially 
in their own churches, without, however, any detriment to re 
ligious discipline. (Canon 1334.) 

1178. Not only the parents, but also all others holding the 
place of the parents, also masters and God-parents, are obliged in 
conscience to see to it that those subject or commended to them 
receive catechetical instruction. (Canon 1335.) 

1179. Local Ordinaries have the right to pass regulations 
concerning the teaching of Christian doctrine to the people, and 
exempt religious are also bound to observe those rules whenever 
they teach non-exempt persons. (Canon 1336.) 


Sacred Preaching. 

1180. The faculty of preaching, for the secular clergy as 
well as for the non-exempt religious, can be given only by the 
local Ordinary in his diocese. (Canon 1337.) 

1181. If a sermon is to be given only to the exempt re 
ligious and to persons of their household, the religious superior 
of a clerical exempt community, who has this right according to 
the constitutions, grants the faculty ; he can also give this faculty 
to secular priests, and to those of another Religious Order, pro 
vided they have been declared qualified by their Ordinary or by 
their religious superior. 


If a sermon is to be given to others, also to nuns subject to 
the regulars, the faculty of preaching must be obtained, by both 
secular and exempt religious priests, from the Ordinary of the 
place where the sermon is to be given; the preacher who is to 
address exempt nuns needs, moreover, the permission of their 
religious superior. 

The faculty of preaching to the members of an exempt 
laical Order is to be given by the Ordinary; the preacher can 
not make use of his faculty without the assent of the religious 
superior. (Canon 1338.) 

1182. The local Ordinaries should not without grave rea 
son refuse to give the faculty of preaching to those religious who 
are presented by their superior, nor recall the faculty which was 
granted, especially not for all the priests of one community at 
the same time. The rule of Canon 1340, however, is to observed. 

Religious priests are not allowed to make use of the faculty 
of preaching without the permission of their superior. (Canon 

1183. The Ordinary, and the religious superior are, under 
grave obligation of conscience, forbidden to give faculty or per 
mission to preach except to priests of good moral standing and 
of sufficient knowledge to be ascertained by examination, as de 
manded by Canon 877, 1. 

If after giving faculty or permission, they find that the 
preacher is lacking the necessary qualifications, they must recall 
the faculty; when doubt arises as to the necessary knowledge, 
they must make sure of it, even by a new examination, if 

In the case of deprivation of the faculty of preaching re 
course to the higher superiors is permitted, but no appeal in sus- 
pensivo, which means to say that the order of the superior must 
be obeyed in the meantime. (Canon 1340.) 

1184. Priests of another diocese, seculars as well as re 
ligious, shall not be invited to preach unless permission has first 
been obtained from the bishop of the place where the sermon is 
to be given. The bishop, unless the priest is otherwise known to 
him, shall not give faculty to preach unless he has first received 
from his Ordinary a good testimonial concerning the knowledge, 
piety, and good character of the preacher; the Ordinary giving 
the testimonials is bound by serious duty of conscience to make 
a truthful statement. 


The pastor must apply for the faculty in good time when 
there is question of the parochial or another church subject to 
him; in a church exempt from the jurisdiction of the pastor, the 
rector; and if there is question of a capitular church the first 
dignity of the Chapter with the consent of the Chapter; and the 
director or chaplain of a confraternity if it has a church of its 

If the parochial church is at the same time the proper church 
for a Chapter or confraternity, the priest who, by right performs 
the sacred functions is to apply for the faculty of an outside 
preacher. (Canon 1341.) 

1185. The faculty of preaching should be given only to 
priests or deacons, not, however, to other clerics unless the bishop 
see fit to grant it in individual cases. 

All laymen, even religious, are forbidden to preach in 
church. (Canon 1342.) 

1186. The Ordinaries of places have the right to preach 
in any church of their territory, not excluding exempt churches. 

Unless the city is very large, the bishop can forbid sermons 
to the people in other churches of the town or city at the time 
when he either himself preaches, or has a sermon preached in his 
presence on some public and extraordinary occasion. (Canon 

1187. On Sundays and holidays of obligation throughout 
the year it is the duty of the pastor to preach to the people the 
Word of God in the customary homily, especially during the 
Holy Mass in which the attendance of the people usually is more 

The pastor cannot fulfil this obligation habitually through 
another priest, unless he has a just excuse, to be approved by the 

The Ordinary may permit that on the more solemn feasts, 
and for a good reason also on some Sundays, the sermon is 
omitted. (Canon 1344.) 

1188. It is to be desired that in all churches and public 
oratories where people assist at Holy Mass on Sundays and holi 
days of obligation a short explanation of the holy Gospel, or 
on any other point of Christian doctrine, be given to the people; 
if the Ordinary has given orders concerning this affair they must 
be obeyed, not only by the secular clergy, but also by non-exempt 
and exempt religious in their own churches. (Canon 1345.) 


1189. Local Ordinaries shall attend to it that during the 
Lenten season, and also, if they judge it useful, during Advent, 
sermons are more frequently given in cathedral and parochial 

The canons and others belonging to the cathedral Chapter 
shall be obliged to be present at these sermons if they are held 
immediately after the choir services, unless they are detained else 
where for good reasons; the Ordinary can oblige them to be 
present even under canonical penalties. (Canon 1346.) 

1190. In the sacred sermons there should be explained 
above all else the things which the faithful must believe and do 
to save their souls. 

The preachers of the word of God should abstain from pro 
fane arguments or arguments so deep as to exceed the common 
understanding of their hearers ; and they should not exercise the 
evangelical ministry in skilled words of human wisdom, nor with 
a profane demonstration of vain and ambitious eloquence, but 
in the power and strength of the spirit of God, not preaching 
themselves but Christ crucified. 

If it should unfortunately happen that a preacher dissemi 
nates errors and scandals he shall be forbidden to preach, to hear 
confessions or to exercise any office of teaching; if his preaching 
is heretical, he should be dealt with according to the rules of law. 
(Canon 1347.) 

1191. The faithful are to be zealously admonished to be 
frequently present at sermons. (Canon 1348.) 

Sacred Missions. 

1192. The Ordinaries should insist that the pastors have a 
mission given to their parishioners at least once in ten years. 

The pastors, not excluding those of Religious Orders, are 
held to obey the Ordinary s regulations concerning these mis 
sions. (Canon 1349.) 

1193. Local Ordinaries and pastors should interest them 
selves in the welfare of the souls of the non-Catholics in their 
dioceses and parishes. 

In other territories the entire care for the missions among 
non-Catholics is exclusively reserved to the Holy See. (Canon 


1 194. Nobody must be forced to embrace the Catholic faith 
against his will. (Canon 1351.) 



1195. It is the proper and exclusive right of the Church to 
educate the men who desire to give themselves to the ecclesiastical 
ministry. (Canon 1352.) 

1196. The priests, specially the pastors, should give atten 
tion to boys who show signs of ecclesiastical vocation, and take 
pains to keep them from the contamination of the world, instruct 
them in piety, give them the first lessons in the study of letters, 
and foster the seed of vocation in them. (Canon 1353.) 

1197. In every diocese the bishop shall erect in a suitable 
place a seminary or college, in which, according to the means and 
the requirements of the diocese a certain number of young men 
are to be educated for the clerical state. 

Care should be taken to have, especially in large dioceses, 
two seminaries, a minor seminary for the boys for the study of 
letters and sciences, and a major seminary for the study of phi 
losophy and theology. 

If a diocesan seminary cannot be erected, or if in such a 
seminary a regular course in philosophy and theology cannot be 
given, the bishop should send the students to an outside seminary, 
unless there is an interdiocesan, or provincial, seminary erected 
by the authority of the Holy See. (Canon 1354.) 

1198. If there are no proper revenues for the building and 
maintenance of the seminary and the students, the bishop can: 

1. order the pastors and rectors of churches, also the 
exempt ones, to take up at stated times a collection for that pur 

2. impose a seminary tax ; 

3. if these means are not sufficient, he may annex some 
simple benefices to the seminary. (Canon 1355.) 

1199. The seminary tax or assessment must be paid by the 
mensa episcopalis, by all benefices, including those of regulars and 
those over which some one has the right of patronage, by all 
parishes and quasi-parishes, though they have no other revenue 
than the offerings of the faithful, by hospitals erected by eccles- 


iastical authority, by sodalities canonically erected, and by church 
buildings which have their own revenue, and by every religious 
house though exempt, unless the religious live solely on alms or 
have actually in their houses a college for pupils or teachers for 
the common weal of the Church. All contrary custom is dis 
approved and every kind of contrary privilege is recalled, and 
no appeal granted. 

This assessment must be general, and of the same percent 
age for all churches and institutions subject to the tax, and may 
be larger or smaller, according to the needs of the seminary. The 
annual tax must not exceed 5 per cent, of the income, and it is to 
be lowered as the revenue of the seminary increases. 

The taxable income is that which remains over and above 
at the end of the year, after the obligations and necessary ex 
penditures have been paid. In benefices of cathedral or collegiate 
churches, where the members of the cathedral or collegiate Chap 
ter receive daily distributions besides the regular revenue of their 
benefice, the daily distributions are not taxable; if the benefice 
consists only of the daily distributions, the third part of them is 
taxable. In parishes the offerings of the faithful are not taxable 
revenue of the parish, unless the parish has no other revenue than 
the offerings of the faithful, in which case one-third of the offer 
ings is taxable. (Canon 1356.) 

1200. The bishop has the right to pass regulations for the 
proper administration, government and progress of the diocesan 
seminary and to enforce these regulations, saving the rules which 
the Holy See may have laid down for special cases. 

The bishop should take special care to frequently visit the 
seminary himself, watch over the manner in which secular and 
ecclesiastical sciences are taught, and obtain personal knowledge 
of the vocation and character and standing in studies of the 
pupils, especially at the time of ordinations. 

Every seminary shall have its laws approved by the bishop, 
in which regulations are given both for the students and for the 
professors of the seminary. 

The interdiocesan, or provincial, seminary shall be governed 
and administrated according to the laws passed by the Holy See. 
(Canon 1351.) 

1201. In every seminary there must be a rector for the gov 
ernment of the house, professors, an economic distinct from the 


rector for the administration of the temporalities, at least two 
ordinary confessors, and a spiritual director. (Canon 1358.) 

1202. There should be appointed two boards for each sem 
inary, one for discipline, the other for the administration of the 
temporal goods. 

Each board is to consist of two priests chosen by the bishop 
with the advice of the Chapter or of the diocesan consultors; the 
vicar general, priests living in the bishop s house, the rector of 
the seminary, the economus, and the ordinary confessors, are 
excluded from either board. 

The office of the members of the two boards lasts for six 
years, and those appointed should not be removed without a seri 
ous cause; they may be re-appointed. 

The bishop must consult the boards in affairs of importance. 
(Canon 1359.) 

1203. To the office of rector, spiritual director, confessor, 
and professor of the seminary, are to be appointed men qualified 
for these offices not only by their learning, but also by virtue 
and discretion, so that they may in word and deed be an example 
to the alumni. According to Canon 891 the rector may not be 
confessor for the seminarians. 

The rector of the seminary must be obeyed by all in the exer 
cise of his office. (Canon 1360.) 

1204. Besides the ordinary confessors, other confessors 
should be appointed, to whom the seminarians may freely go to 

If these confessors live outside the seminary, and the student 
requests the rector to call one of them to hear his confession, the 
rector is forbidden in any way to inquire for the reason why 
or to show displeasure. If the confessors live in the seminary, 
the seminarians may freely approach them, saving the discipline 
of the seminary. 

When there is question of admitting a seminarian to orders, 
or of dismissing him from the seminary, the vote of the con 
fessor must never be asked. (Canon 1361.) 

1205. The income derived from legacies for the education 
of clerics may be used in favor of alumni of the minor as well 
as the major seminary, though they are not as yet clerics properly 
so-called by reception of the tonsure, unless the terms under 
which a legacy was left to the seminary explicitly restricts the 
use of the money to clerics proper. (Canon 1362.) 


1206. The bishop should receive into the seminary only 
boys of legitimate birth, and of such a character that there is 
good reason to believe they will persevere and work with success 
in the ecclesiastical ministry. 

Before they are received they must present testimonials of 
legitimate birth, of Baptism and Confirmation, and of conduct. 

Students who have been discharged from another seminary 
or from a religious community should not be received unless the 
bishop has first obtained information also in secret from the su 
periors and others about the reason of their dismissal, and tes 
timonials as to their character and talents and has ascertained 
that there is nothing in their character which would be unbecom 
ing to the sacerdotal state. Superiors and others asked for in 
formation are bound by grave obligation of conscience to answer 
truthfully. (Canon 1363.) 

1207. In the lower grades of the seminary : 

1. the religious instruction should occupy the first place, 
and it is to be adapted to the age and intelligence of the pupils ; 

2. the students should accurately learn Latin and the ver 
nacular language ; 

3. in other branches of study the requirements of the 
clergy of the respective countries is to be taken into considera 
tion. (Canon 1364.) 

1208. The course of philosophy, together with other, allied 
subjects, is to last at least two years. 

The theological course must last four years; besides dog 
matic and moral theology, special attention must be paid to the 
study of the Sacred Scriptures, Church history, Canon Law, 
Liturgy, Sacred Eloquence, and ecclesiastical chant. 

There are to be also classes of Pastoral Theology, with prac 
tical exercises of how to teach catechism to children and others, 
how to hear confessions, visit the sick, and assist the dying. 
(Canon 1365.) 

1209. As professors of philosophy, theology and law, the 
bishop and seminary boards should prefer those who have the 
degree of doctor in a university, or a faculty recognized by the 
Holy See, or, if there is question of religious, those who have re 
ceived a similar title from their major superiors. 

Philosophy and theology shall be taught by the professors 
absolutely according to the manner of the Angelic Doctor, with 
out deviating from his doctrine and principles. 


There should be distinct professors at least for Sacred Scrip 
ture, Dogmatic Theology, Moral Theology, and Church History. 
(Canon 1366.) 

1210. The bishop shall see to it that the seminarians : 

1. daily say their morning and night prayers, hold a medi 
tation in common, and assist at Holy Mass ; 

2. o to confession at least once a week, and frequently re 
ceive holy Communion; 

3. on Sundays and holidays of obligation assist at solemn 
Mass and Vespers, serve at the altar and take part in the sacred 
ceremonies, especially in the cathedral, if this, according to the 
bishop s judgment can be done without detriment to discipline 
and studies ; 

4. each year make a retreat for a few days ; 

5. once a week attend an instruction on spiritual life. 
(Canon 1367.) 

1211. The seminary shall be exempt from parochial juris 
diction. The rector of the seminary and his delegate shall have 
the office of pastor for all persons living in the seminary, with 
the exception of affairs of the Sacrament of Marriage, unless the 
Holy See has passed other regulations for particular seminaries. 
(Canon 1368.) 

1212. The rector of the seminary, and others under his 
authority, shall attend to it that the alumni faithfully observe the 
statutes approved by the bishop, that the plan of studies is accu 
rately followed, and that the students are imbued with a truly 
ecclesiastical spirit. 

True Christian politeness should be taught and practiced by 
the professors for an example to the seminarians; the require 
ments of hygiene, cleanliness of clothes and person, courtesy, 
moderation and gravity shall be observed by the students. 

The rector shall watch that the professors properly attend 
to the duties of their office. (Canon 1369.) 

1213. Whenever seminarians live outside the seminary for 
any reason, the bishop shall appoint a priest who is responsible 
for them, according to Canon 972, 2. (Canon 1370.) 

1214. Disorderly, incorrigible, seditious characters shall 
not be suffered in the seminary, nor, in general, those whose be 
havior or talents do not make them desirable candidates for the 
clerical state. Students who advance but little in studies, so that 


there is not much hope that they will acquire sufficient learning, 
shall be dismissed. If a seminarian has been guilty of immoral 
ity, or of offenses against Catholic belief, he shall be immediately 
discharged. (Canon 1371.) 


Catholic Schools. 

1215. Catholic children are-to be educated in schools where 
not only nothing contrary to Catholic faith and morals is taught, 
but rather in schools where religious and moral training occupy 
the first place. 

Not only the parents, as mentioned in Canon 1113, but also 
all those who take their place have the right, and the most serious 
obligation of caring for the Christian education of the children. 
(Canon 1372.) 

1216. In every elementary school the children must, accord 
ing to their age, be instructed in Christian doctrine. 

The young people who attend the higher schools are to re 
ceive a deeper religious knowledge, and the bishops shall appoint 
priests qualified for such work by their learning and piety. 
(Canon 1373.) 

1217. Catholic children shall not attend non-Catholic, in 
different, schools that are mixed, that is to say, schools open to 
Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The bishop of the diocese only 
has the right, in harmony with the instructions of the Holy See, 
to decide under what circumstances, and with what safeguards to 
prevent loss of faith, it may be tolerated that Catholic children 
go to such schools. (Canon 1374.) 

1218. The Church has the right to establish elementary 
schools as well as any kind of schools. (Canon 1375.) 

1219. The canonical erection of a Catholic University or 
of a Catholic faculty is reserved to the Holy See. 

A Catholic University or faculty, also those in charge of any 
religious family, must have its statutes approved by the Holy See. 
(Canon 1376.) 

1220. Academic degrees to be recognized in Canon Law 
cannot be conferred except by faculty of the Holy See. (Canon 


1221. Doctors, who have received their degrees legiti 
mately, have the right, outside of sacred functions, to wear a 
ring with a stone, and the doctor s hat, and in conferring the 
various offices and ecclesiastical benefices the bishop is to give 
preference, according to the sacred Canons, to those having the 
doctorate or licentiate, all other things being equal. (Canon 1378.) 

1222. If there are no Catholic elementary or mediate 
schools, spoken of in Canon 1373, the Ordinary should take care 
to have them established. 

Likewise if the public Universities are not imbued with the 
Catholic doctrine and spirit, it is to be desired that in the nation 
or province a Catholic University be erected. 

The Catholics should not refuse to contribute according to 
their means towards the building and maintenance of Catholic 
schools. (Canon 1379.) 

1223. It is desirable that the Ordinary send pious and 
gifted clerics to Universities approved by the Church, in order 
that they may take up specially the studies of philosophy, theology 
and Canon Law and obtain academic degrees. (Canon 1380.) 

1224. The religious teaching of youth in any schools is sub 
ject to the authority and inspection of the Church. 

The local Ordinaries have the right and duty to watch 
that nothing is taught contrary to faith or good morals, in any 
of the schools of their territory. 

They, moreover, have the right to approve the books of 
Christian doctrine and the teachers of religion, and to demand, 
for the sake of safeguarding religion and morals, the removal of 
teachers and books. (Canon 1381.) 

1225. Ordinaries of dioceses have the right, either in per 
son or through others, to visit in reference to religious and moral 
instruction any schools, oratories, summer schools, etc., and from 
this visitation the schools conducted by a religious community 
are not excepted unless it is a school exclusively for the professed 
members of an exempt Order. (Canon 1382.) 

1226. In the religious education of the students of any col 
lege the rule of Canon 891 must be observed, namely, that the 
superior of the institution must not hear the confessions of the 
inmates. (Canon 1383.) 


Censorship and Prohibition of Books. 

1227. The Church has the right to rule that Catholics shall 
not publish any books unless they have first been subjected to the 
approval of the Church and to forbid for a good reason the faith 
ful to read certain books, no matter by whom they are published. 

The rules of this title concerning books are to be applied also 
to daily papers, periodicals, and any other publication, unless the 
contrary is clear from the Canons. (Canon 1384.) 

Censorship of Books. 

1228. Without previous ecclesiastical approval even laymen 
are not allowed to publish : 

1. the books of Holy Scripture, or annotations and com 
mentaries of the same ; 

2. books treating of Sacred Scripture, theology, Church 
history, Canon Law, natural theology, ethics, and other sciences 
concerning religion and morals. Furthermore, prayer books, pam 
phlets and books of devotion, of religious teaching, either moral, 
ascetic, or mystic, and any writing in general in which there is 
anything that has a special bearing on religion or morality ; 

3. sacred images reproduced in any manner, either with or 
without prayers. 

The permission to publish books and images spoken of in 
this Canon may be given either by the proper Ordinary of the 
author, or by the Ordinary of the place where they are published, 
or by the Ordinary of the place where they are printed ; if, how 
ever, any one of the Ordinaries who has a right to give approval 
refuses it, the author cannot ask it of another unless he informs 
him of the refusal of the Ordinary first requested. 

The religious must, moreover, first obtain permission from 
their major superior. (Canon 1385.) 

1229. The secular clergy are forbidden without the consent 
of their bishop, the religious without the permission of the major 
superior and the bishop, to publish any book on secular topics, 
or to be a contributor to, or editor, of daily papers, periodicals, 
booklets, etc. 


In papers, pamphlets and magazines which, as a rule, attack 
the Catholic religion or good morals, not even laymen should 
write anything except for a good and reasonable cause, to be ap 
proved by the Ordinary. (Canon 1386.) 

1230. Matters pertaining in any manner to the causes of 
beatification and canonization of the servants of God, may not be 
published without permission from the Sacred Congregation of 
Rites. (Canon 1387.) 

1231. All books, summaries, booklets and papers, etc., in 
which the concession of indulgences is mentioned, shall not be 
published without permission of the Ordinary of the diocese. 

Special permission of the Holy See is required for printing 
in any language authentic collections of prayers and good works 
to which the Holy See has attached indulgences, as also a list of 
the papal indulgences and summaries of indulgences previously 
collected, but never approved, and summaries to be now made up 
from the various concessions. (Canon 1388.) 

1232. The collections of decrees of the Roman Congrega 
tions cannot be published anew without first obtaining permission 
from the respective Congregation, and observing the conditions 
which the prefect of the Congregation may lay down in giving 
permission. (Canon 1389.) 

1233. In the publication of liturgical books, or parts there 
of, and in reprints of litanies approved by the Holy See, the Ordi 
nary of the place where the printing is done, or where they are 
published, must attest that the copy agrees with the original of 
ficial edition. (Canon 1390.) 

1234. Translations of the Holy Scriptures in the vernacular 
languages may not be published unless they are either approved 
by the Holy See, or they are published, under the supervision of 
the bishop, with annotations chiefly taken from the holy Fathers 
of the Church and learned Catholic writers. (Canon 1391. ) 

1235. When a work is approved in its original text, the 
approval does not extend to translations into other languages nor 
to other editions ; wherefore both the translation and the new edi 
tion of a work already approved needs a new approval. 

If various chapters that have appeared in approved maga 
zines, or other periodicals, are collected and published in book 
form, they are not considered a new edition and do therefore not 
need a new approval. (Canon 1392.), 


1236. In every episcopal Curia there should be official cen 
sors, who shall examine the works to be published. 

The examiners should be free from all human respect in 
the exercise of their office, and shall have before their eyes only 
the dogmas of the Church and the universal Catholic teaching 
contained in the decrees of the General Councils, in the constitu 
tions and orders of the Holy See, and in the consent of approved 

The censors should be taken from both the secular and re 
ligious clergy, and should be men of mature age, of tried learn 
ing and prudence, who will take the golden mean in approving 
or rejecting doctrines. 

The censor must give his opinion in writing; if it is favor 
able the Ordinary may allow the manuscript to be published ; the 
imprimatur of the bishop is preceded by the opinion of the censor 
over his signature. Only in extraordinary cases and rare circum 
stances may, according to the bishop s judgment, the name of the 
censor be omitted. 

The author shall never be informed of the name of the censor 
who is to revise his book before he has given his judgment. 
(Canon 1393.) 

1237. The permission of the Ordinary by which he grants 
faculty to publish a manuscript shall be given in writing, and 
shall be printed either at the beginning or the end of a book, maga 
zine, or on pictures, with his name and the date and place of the 

If permission for publication is to be denied, the reasons 
should be given to the author unless there are grave reasons why 
this should not be done. (Canon 1394.) 

Prohibition of Books. 

1238. The right and duty to prohibit books for a good rea 
son rests with the Supreme Pontiff for the whole Church, with 
the particular councils for their territory, with the individual 
Ordinary for his diocese. 

From the prohibition of inferior authorities recourse may be 
had to the Holy See, not however, in suspensive, which means 
that the prohibition must be obeyed until Rome has rescinded the 
orders of the inferior authority. 


Also the abbot of an independent monastery, and the supreme 
superior of a clerical exempt religious body, may with their re 
spective council or Chapter prohibit books to their subjects for 
good reasons; the same authority possess other major superiors 
in union with their council in cases where immediate action is 
necessary, with the duty, however, to refer the matter as soon as 
possible to the supreme superior. (Canon 1395.) 

1239. Books forbidden by the Holy See are to be consid 
ered forbidden everywhere, and in any translation into other lan 
guages. (Canon 1396.) 

1240. It is the duty of all the faithful, and especially of 
the clergy, of ecclesiastical dignitaries, and of men of extraor 
dinary learning, to refer books which they think pernicious to the 
Ordinary or to the Holy See. This duty pertains by special title 
to the legates of the Holy See, to the local Ordinaries, and to 
rectors of Catholic Universities. 

It is expedient in the denunciation of a book to not only in 
dicate the title of the book, but also, as far as possible, the rea 
sons why a book is thought to deserve condemnation. 

Those to whom the book is denounced are by sacred duty 
bound to keep secret the names of those who denounce it. 

The local Ordinaries must, either in person or, if necessary, 
through other capable priests, watch over the books which are 
published or sold in their territory. 

The Ordinaries should refer to the Holy See those books 
which require a more searching examination, also works which 
for their effective prohibition demand the weight of the supreme 
authority. (Canon 1397.) 

1241. The prohibition of books has this effect that the for 
bidden books may not without permission be published, read, re 
tained, sold, nor translated into another language, nor made 
known to others in any way. 

The book which has in any way been forbidden may not 
again be published except after the demanded corrections have 
been made and the authority which forbade the book, or his su 
perior, or successor, has given permission. (Canon 1398.) 

1242. By the very law are forbidden: 

1. editions of the original text, or of ancient Catholic ver 
sions, of the Sacred Scriptures, also of the Oriental Church, pub 
lished by non-Catholics ; likewise any translations in any language 
made or published by them ; 


2. books of any writers defending heresy or schism, or 
tending in any way to undermine the foundations of religion; 

3. books which purposely fight against religion and good 
morals ; 

4. books of any non-Catholic treating professedly of re 
ligion unless it is certain that nothing is contained therein against 
the Catholic faith ; 

5. books on the holy Scriptures or on religious subjects 
which have been published without the permission required by 
Canons 1385, 1, nn. 1, and 1391 ; books and leaflets which bring 
an account of new apparitions, revelations, visions, prophecies, 
miracles, or introduce new devotions even though under the pre 
text that they are private; if these books, etc., are published 
against the rules of the Canons ; 

6. books which attack or ridicule any of the Catholic dog 
mas, books which defend errors condemned by the Holy See, or 
which disparage Divine worship, or tend to undermine ecclesias 
tical discipline, or which purposely insult the ecclesiastical hierar 
chy, or the clerical and religious states ; 

7. books which teach or approve of any kind of supersti 
tion, fortune-telling, sorcery, magic, communication with spirits 
and such like affairs ; 

8. books which declare duels, suicide, divorce as licit ; books 
which treat of masonic and other sects of the same kind, and con 
tend that they are not pernicious, but rather useful to the Church 
and civil society; 

9. books which professedly treat of impure and obscene 
subjects, narrate or teach them ; 

10. editions of liturgical books approved by the Holy See, 
but which have been unlawfully changed in some things so that 
they no longer agree with the editions authorized by the Holy See ; 

11. books which publish apocryphal indulgences, or those 
condemned or recalled by the Holy See ; 

12. images of our Lord, of the blessed Virgin, angels, 
saints, and other servants of God, which are not in accord with 
the mind and the decrees of the Church. (Canon 1399. ) 

1243. Books mentioned in n. 1 of the preceding Canon, and 
books published against the law of Canon 1391, are allowed to 
those who in any way engage in theological or biblical studies, 
provided these books are faithful and complete copies of the orig- 


inal, and do not in their introduction, or in their notes, attack 
Catholic dogmas. (Canon 1400.) 

1244. Cardinals and bishops, both residential and titular, 
are not bound by the ecclesiastical prohibition of books, provided 
they use the necessary precautions. (Canon 1401.) 

1245. Ordinaries can give permission to their subjects for 
the reading of books forbidden by the general law of the Code, 
as well as by decree of the Holy See, for individual books and in 
individual and urgent cases only. 

If the Ordinaries have obtained from the Holy See general 
faculty to allow their subjects the keeping and reading of for 
bidden books, they should give this permission with discretion. 
(Canon 1402.) 

1246. Persons who have obtained from the Holy See the 
faculty of reading and keeping forbidden books cannot for that 
reason read and keep books forbidden by their Ordinaries, un 
less the Apostolic indult explicitly gives them the faculty to read 
and keep books forbidden by any authority. 

Moreover, they are held by grave precept to guard the for 
bidden books in order that they may not fall into the hands of 
others. (Canon 1403.) 

1247. Bookdealers shall not sell, loan, or keep books which 
professedly treat of obscene matters ; other forbidden books they 
should not have for sale unless they have obtained permission 
from the Holy See, nor should they sell them to any one except 
they can reasonably judge that the buyer has the right to ask for 
these books. (Canon 1404.) 

1248. By the permission to read forbidden books no one is 
exempted from the prohibition of the natural law not to read 
books which are to the reader a proximate occasion of sin. 

Local Ordinaries, and others having the care of souls, shall 
at proper times and occasions warn the faithful of the danger 
and harm of bad books, especially of those that are forbidden. 
(Canon 1405.) 


Profession of Faith. 

1249. The following persons are held to make the pro 
fession of faith according to the form approved by the Holy See : 

1. those who assist, either with a decisive or a consultive 


vote at a General or Particular Council, or diocesan synod, be 
fore the president of the assembly or his delegate ; the president 
before the council or synod; 

2. those promoted to the dignity of Cardinals before the 
dean of the sacred College, the first Cardinal priest and Cardinal 
deacon, and the Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church; 

3. those promoted to an episcopal see, though titular, or 
to the government of an abbey, or prelacy nullius, vicariate and 
prefecture apostolic, before the Apostolic Delegate ; 

4. the vicar capitular before the cathedral Chapter; 

5. those promoted to an ecclesiastical dignity, or to mem 
bership among the canons, before the bishop or his delegate and 
the Chapter; 

6. those appointed to the office of diocesan consultor be 
fore the Ordinary or his delegate and the other consultors ; 

7. the vicar general, pastors, and others obtaining any 
benefice, though removable, to which the care of souls is attached ; 
rectors, professors of sacred theology, Canon Law and philo 
sophy in seminaries, at the beginning of each scholastic year, or, 
at least, the beginning of their office; all candidates for subdea- 
conship; censors of books mentioned in Canon 1393; priests ap 
proved for confessions and preaching before they receive faculty 
to exercise these duties ; all these ecclesiastics must take the oath 
before the bishop or his delegate; 

8. the rector of a Catholic University or faculty before 
the Ordinary or his delegate; all professors of a canonically 
erected University or faculty at the beginning of each scholastic 
year, or, at least, at the commencement of their office, and those 
who after a successful examination are to receive academic de 
grees, before the rector of the University or faculty, or his dele 

9. superiors in clerical religious organizations before the 
Chapter or the superior who appointed them, or their delegate. 

He who relinquishes a former and receives a new office, 
benefice or dignity, even of the same species, must again make 
the profession of faith according to the present Canon. (Canon 

1250. One does not satisfy his obligation of making the 
profession of faith by doing so through a proxy, or by making 
it before a layman. (Canon 1407.) . 


1251. Every custom contrary to the Canons under this 
Title of Profession of Faith is disapproved by law. (Canon 



Ecclesiastical Benefices. 

1252. An ecclesiastical benefice is a juridical being, consti 
tuted perpetually by competent eccleciastical authority, consist 
ing of a sacred office and the right to receive the revenue accru 
ing from the endowment of the office. (Canon 1409.) 

1253. The endowment of a benefice consists either in goods 
owned by the benefice itself in its juridical capacity, or of certain 
payments obligatory upon some family or moral person, or of 
certain voluntary offerings of the faithful, which belong to the 
rector of a benefice, or so-called stole fees demanded within the 
limits of diocesan statutes or legitimate custom, or choral dis 
tributions to the exclusion of one third part, if all the revenues 
of a benefice consist in choral distributions. (Canon 1410.) 

1254. Ecclesiastical benefices are called: 

1. Consistorial, if they are usually conferred in consistory; 
others are known as non-consist orial; 

2. Secular or Religions, in as much as they either belong 
exclusively to the secular or the religious clergy. All benefices 
erected outside the churches or houses of religious are in case of 
controversy to be presumed as secular; 

3. Double or residential, Simple or non-residential, in as 
much as the duty of residence is or is not attached to the bene 
fice, besides the other duties of the respective benefice; 

4. Manual, temporary or removable, perpetual or irremov 
able, in as much as they are conferred either revocably or per 
petually ; 

5. Curata or non-cur at a, in as much as there is -or is not at 
tached to the benefice the care of souls. (Canon 1411.) 

1255. Though the following offices and position have some 
resemblance to the benefices, they do not in law come under the 
name of benefices : 


1. parochial vicariates which are not erected perpetually; 

2. laical chaplaincies, namely such which are not erected by 
competent ecclesiastical authority; 

3. coadjutor offices, with or without the right of future 
succession ; 

4. personal pensions; 

5. a temporary commenda, which consist in the concession 
to some person of the revenues of a church or monastery in such 
manner that with the death of the person the revenues fall again 
to the church or monastery. (Canon 1412.) 

1256. Unless the contrary is evident, the following Canons 
refer only to non-consistorial benefices properly so-called; those 
offices mentioned in the preceding Canon are, therefore, not con 
cerned in the succeeding Canons unless the contrary is evident. 

Canons 147-195, treating of appointment to ecclesiastical 
offices, are to be observed also in appointment to offices with 
which a benefice is connected. (Canon 1413.) 

Constitution or Erection of Benefices. 

1257. Consistorial benefices can be erected by the Holy See 

Besides the Roman Pontiff, the Ordinaries may erect in 
their respective territory non-consistorial benefices, saving the 
exception of Canon 394, 2, which reserves to the Holy See the 
erection of dignities in the Cathedral Chapter. 

Vicars general cannot erect benefices without a special man 
date of their Ordinary. 

Cardinals may erect in the church of their title benefices 
which have not the care of souls attached, unless the church be 
longs to^a clerical exempt community of religious. (Canon 

1258. Benefices should not be erected unless their stable 
and sufficient endowment is assured, from which revenues accrue 
perpetually in the manner specified in Canon 1410. 

If the endowment consists in a certain sum of money, the 
Ordinary, after consultation with the diocesan board of admin 
istration, spoken of in Canon 1520, shall take care to have the 
money as soon as possible invested in safe and fruitful real es 
tate or bonds. 

294 THE XEir CAXOX LAir 

Where a proper endowment cannot be had it is not forbid 
den to erect parishes or quasi-parishes, if it can be prudently fore 
seen that the necessary revenues will be obtained from other 
sources. (Canon 1415.) 

1259. Before a benefice is erected the persons, if there be 
any, wha are interested should be called and given a hearing. 
(Canon 1416.) 

1260. If a benefactor endows a benefice he may with the 
consent of the Ordinary at the" time of foundation attach condi 
tions even contrary to the common law, provided they are not 
sinful nor incompatible with the nature of the benefice. 

Once the conditions have been admitted the Ordinary cannot 
validly suppress or change them, unless there is question of 
changes favorable to the Church, and the consent of founder or 
patron, as the case may be, is obtained. (Canon 1417.) 

1261. The erection of benefices is to be made by legal do 
cument in which the place is to be defined where the benefice is 
erected, and the endowment, rights and obligations of the bene 
ficiary are described, (Canon 1418.) 


Union, Transfer, Division, Dismembration, Conversion and 
Suppression of Benefices. 

1262. The union of benefices is : 

1. cxtinctivc, if out of two or more benefices one only bene 
fice is created, or one or several are united to another in such a 
way that they cease to exist ; 

2. equally principal, if the united benefices remain the 
same as they were before without subordination of one to the 

3. less principal, or by subjection or accession, when the 
various benefices remain but one or several are joined in subordi 
nation to another, principal benefice. (Canon 1419.) 

1263. In the cxtinctive union the benefice which emerges 
out of the union of several benefices has all the rights and obli 
gations of the various benefices, and, if they are incompatible the 
better and more favorable rights are to be retained. 

In the equally principal union each benefice conserves its 
nature, rights and obligations but by virtue of the effected union 


the titles to the various benefices are conferred on one and the 
same cleric. 

In the less principal union the accessory benefice follows the 
principal one so that the cleric who obtains the principal benefice 
also acquires the accessory and must fulfil the obligations of 
both. (Canon 1420.) 

1264. A transfer of a benefice means its change from one 
place to another; division, when two or more benefices are made 
out of one ; dismembration, when a part of the territory or of the 
goods is taken from a benefice and assigned to another benefice, 
charitable or ecclesiastical institution; conversion, when a bene 
fice is changed into another kind ; suppression, when it is entirely 
extinguished. (Canon 1421.) 

1265. To the Holy See is reserved the extinctive union of 
benefices, their suppression, dismembration which is done by 
taking away goods of a benefice without erecting a new benefice, 
the equally or less principal union of a religious benefice with a 
secular one, or vice versa, also the transfer, division and dismem 
bration of a religious benefice. (Canon 1422.) 

1266. Local Ordinaries, not, however, the vicar capitular 
nor the vicar general without special mandate, may for reason of 
necessity or great and evident utility of the Church, effect an 
equally or less principal union of parish churches among them 
selves or with a non-curate benefice, provided, however, in the 
latter case that in a less principal union of a parish with a non- 
curate office the non-curate office is considered the accessory. 

The bishop cannot unite parishes with the mensa of the 
Chapter or the bishop, with monasteries, churches of religious 
or other moral persons, nor with the dignities and benefices of 
the cathedral or collegiate church. He can, however, unite the 
parish with the cathedral or collegiate church situated in the ter 
ritory of the parish in such way that the revenues of the parish 
go to the benefit of the cathedral or collegiate church itself, leav 
ing to the pastor or parochial vicar a portion sufficient for his 

A union of benefices cannot be made by the local Ordinaries 
unless the union is made perpetual. (Canon 1423.) 

1267. The Ordinaries can never unite any benefices, either 
with or without the care of souls, to the detriment of those who 
actually are in possession if they are unwilling; nor unite a bene- 


fice where some one has the right of patronage with a benefice of 
free appointment without the consent of the patron; nor the 
benefices of one diocese to a benefice of another diocese though 
both dioceses are united by equally principal union and governed 
by one and the same bishop; nor exempt benefices, or those re 
served to the Holy See, with any other benefices. (Canon 1424.) 

1268. If a parish is united by the Holy See to a religious 
house for the temporalities only, the religious house has only the 
right to the revenues of the parish but it remains a secular parish, 
and the superior has the right of presenting a priest of the secular 
clergy to the bishop to be appointed as pastor. In the United 
States there are, as a rule, no such arrangements. 

If a parish is by Apostolic indult united to a religious house 
plena jure, the parish belongs to the religious and the superior 
has the right to nominate a priest of the community to act as 
pastor, but the bishop has the right to examine and institute him, 
and he is subject to the bishop s correction and visitation in af 
fairs relative to the care of souls, as specified in Canon 631. 
Confer also Canon 533, 1, n. 4. (Canon 1425.) 

1269. For reason of necessity or utility of the Church the 
Ordinary may transfer the secular parochial benefice from one 
locality to another in the same parish. Other benefices he can 
transfer only when the churches in which they were founded 
have collapsed and cannot be repaired ; they are to be transferred 
to nearby churches. In the United States other benefices besides 
parishes are extremely rare. (Canon 1426.) 

1270. Division of parishes is subject to the following rules : 
The Ordinaries can, for a just canonical cause, divide any 

parishes, also against the will of the rectors and without the con 
sent of the people, by erecting a perpetual vicariate or a new 
parish, or by dismembering the same and giving part to another 
already established parish. 

There is only one canonical reason for dividing or dismem 
bering a parish, namely, either too great a difficulty for the people 
to go to the parish church, or too numerous a congregation, whose 
spiritual welfare cannot be taken care of by the appointment of 
assistants to the pastor. 

The Ordinary dividing the parish must assign to the new 
parish or perpetual vicariate an appropriate portion of goods, 
saving the law of Canon 1500; these, unless they can be had from 


other sources, are to be taken from any of the revenues of the 
mother church, leaving, however, a sufficient amount for the 
existence of the mother church. 

If the perpetual vicariate, or the new parish, is endowed by 
the revenues of the parish from which they were separated, they 
must show respect to the mother church in the manner to be 
pointed out by the Ordinary ; the bishop cannot, however, reserve 
to the mother church the exclusive right to administer the Sacra 
ment of Baptism. 

If a parish belonging to the religious is divided, the new 
parish or perpetual vicariate does not belong to the religious; 
likewise, when a parish in which the right of patronage exists is 
divided, the new parish is free from the patronage. (Canon 

1271. The local Ordinaries should perform the union, 
transfer, division, dismembration of benefices by authentic docu 
ment, and should before action is taken consult the Chapter or 
diocesan consultors and persons interested. 

The union, transfer, division and dismembration of bene 
fices made without the canonical reason is null and void. 

Against the Ordinary who unites, divides, etc., benefices, re 
course may be had to the Holy See in devolutivo. His orders 
must be obeyed in the meantime. (Canon 1428.) 

1272. The bishop cannot impose on any kind of benefices 
perpetual pensions, or pensions to last for the lifetime of the pen 
sionary, but he may when conferring the benefice impose for a 
just cause, to be stated in the very act of conferring the benefice, 
temporary pensions which last for the life of the person on 
whom the benefice is conferred ; the pension must not be so high 
as to deprive the possessor of the benefice of proper support. 

The bishop cannot burden with pensions parochial benefices 
except in favor of the pastor or parochial vicar of that same 
parish when they go out of office; this pension, however, must 
not exceed one third of the revenue of the parish, after expendi 
tures and uncertain revenue have been deducted. 

Pensions imposed on benefices, either by the Roman Pontiff 
or by others, cease with the death of the pensionary, who cannot 
transfer his pension to another unless this faculty has been ex 
pressly conceded to him. (Canon 1429.) 

1273. Benefices to which the care of souls is attached can- 


not be turned by the bishop into non-curate benefices, nor can 
he convert religious benefices into secular, nor secular into reli 
gious benefices. 

Simple benefices, on the contrary, can be turned into curate 
benefices, provided there are no contrary explicit conditions of 
the founder. (Canon 1430.) 


Conferring of Benefices. 

1274. Canons 1431-1447 which treat of the conferring of 
benefices have reference to the various ecclesiastical position 
throughout the entire Church. In the United States there are 
practically no benefices except those of bishops and pastors, the 
Holy See only appoints bishops, the pastors are appointed by the 


The Right of Patronage. 

1275. Canons 1448-1471 treat of the right of patronage 
which denotes the privileges and duties which the law grants to 
Catholics who found a church, chapel, or benefice. The principal 
privilege of the founder and his heirs consists in the right to 
choose the priest who is to be in charge of the church or benefice. 
If no canonical disability stands in the way, the Ordinary is 
obliged to appoint the priest presented by the patron. While the 
Code does not abolish the acquired rights of patrons, if they are 
not willing to sacrifice their rights in the interest of the Church, 
no one can for the future validly acquire the right of patronage 
by building or endowing a church, chapel, etc. The bishop may, 
however, admit the foundation of a benefice under the condition 
that for the first time it may be given to the cleric who founds 
the benefice, or, in case of a layman, to the priest whom he desig 
nates. To encourage pious foundations the bishop should grant 
to founders spiritual benefits, for example a definite number of 
Holy Masses to be said each year for their intentions. (Canons 
1450-1451.) In the United States the right of patronage has 
practically been unknown, due to the fact that in most instances 
churches and chapels were not built or endowed by individual 
Catholics but by the contributions of many people. 


Rights and Duties of Beneficiaries. 

1276. Every beneficiary, after having legally taken posses- 
sion of his benefice, enjoys all the spiritual and temporal rights at 
tached to the benefice. (Canon 1472.) 

1277. Though the beneficiary has goods of his own from 
which he could live, he has the right to use the revenues of the 
benefice in such quantity as is necessary for his proper support. 
The superfluous revenues are to be used for the benefit of the 
poor or of charitable institutions. (Canon 1473.) 

1278. Canons 1474-1483 have reference to benefices of a 
character different from our parochial benefices. Parishes are 
almost the only benefices in existence in the United States. How 
much of the revenue the pastor may use for his support and for 
his personal expenditures is regulated by the statutes of the indi 
vidual dioceses, which also determine other matters relative to 
the temporal administration of the parishes, 


Resignation and Exchange of Benefices. 

1279. The Ordinary shall not admit the resignation of a 
benefice by a cleric in major orders, unless he knows that he has 
sufficient means of support from other sources. Canon 584 pro 
vides that the parochial benefice becomes vacant one year from 
the first profession, other benefices three years after such pro 
fession, if the beneficiary should have joined a religious com 
munity. (Canon 1484.) 

1280. The resignation of the benefice under the title of 
which a cleric was ordained is invalid unless explicit mention is 
made that he was ordained under its title, and that with the con 
sent of the Ordinary another legitimate title of ordination has 
been substituted. (Canon 1485.) 

1281. The Ordinary cannot admit a resignation for the 
benefit of another, or under a condition which affects the con 
ferring of the benefice or its revenues. In the case only where 
two clergymen contest in the ecclesiastical court the legal claim 
to the benefice, may one of the contestants relinquish his claim in 
favor of the other. 


The mutual exchanging of two benefices cannot be made 
validly except for reason of the necessity or utility of the Church 
with the consent of the Ordinary, and also of the patron if there 
is question of a benefice over which another has the right of 
patronage, and provided no injury is done to a third party. The 
vicar capitular cannot give this permission and the vicar general 
needs a special mandate of the bishop. Canon 185 requires, how 
ever, that the renunciation in order to be valid must be made by 
the resigning party either in writing, or orally before two wit 
nesses, or also by proxy authorized by special mandate. 

The Ordinary shall within one month either grant or deny 
his consent; the exchange becomes valid from the moment in 
which the Ordinary gives his consent. 

If the conferring of one or both benefices is reserved to the 
Holy See, the Ordinary cannot allow the exchange. (Canon 

1282. If the benefices to be exchanged are unequal, they 
cannot be made equal by reservation of revenue, or payment of 
money, or anything else having the value of money. 

Exchange cannot be made between more than two bene 
ficiaries. (Canon 1488.) 


Other Non-Collegiate Institutes of the Church. 

1283. Hospitals, orphan asylums, and other similar insti 
tutes destined for works of religion or charity, either bodily or 
spiritual, may be erected by the Ordinary, and through his decree 
they obtain legal personality. 

The Ordinary of the diocese shall not approve these institu 
tions unless the purpose of their foundation is really useful and 
they be endowed sufficiently for their purpose. 

The rector of such an institution assumes the administration 
of its goods in accordance with the laws of the foundation. He 
has the same duties and rights as other administrators of ecclesi 
astical goods. (Canon 1489.) 

1284. If a private individual is the founder of a hospital, 
orphan asylum, etc., he should in the document of foundation ac 
curately determine the purpose, endowment, administration and 
government, the use of the income, and to whom the goods are 
to go in case the institution is discontinued. 


There shall be made two copies of this document, one to be 
kept in the archives of the institution, the other in the episcopal 
curia. (Canon 1490.) 

1285. The Ordinary of the diocese has the right to visit all 
such institutions, though they have been made a legal person and 
given in charge of exempt persons. 

If they have no separate legal existence but are attached to 
a religious house, the bishop has complete jurisdiction in the case 
of a diocesan congregation; if attached to a congregation of 
papal law, the bishop has the right to watch over the religious 
teaching, exercises of piety, administration of the Sacraments 
and moral conduct in these institutions. (Canon 1491.) 

1286. Though pious institutes should be exempt from the 
jurisdiction and visitation of the bishop either by foundation, or 
prescription, or Apostolic indult, the bishop has the right to de 
mand a financial statement ; every contrary custom is disapproved. 

If the founder of an institution wants the administrators 
to be free from making financial statement to the bishop, the 
foundation shall not be accepted by the bishop. (Canon 1492.) 

1287. The local Ordinary shall attend to it that the pious 
requests of the faithful expressed in the foundation of an insti 
tution are complied with. (Canon 1493.) 

1288. Without permission of the Holy See these institu 
tions cannot be suppressed, united, or turned to purposes other 
than that for which they were intended by the founder, unless 
other provisions are made in the document of foundation. (Canon 


1289. The Catholic Church and the Apostolic See have 
by their very nature the right freely and independently of the 
civil power to acquire, retain and administrate temporal goods 
for the prosecution of their proper purposes. 

Individual churches, and other moral persons, constituted 
legal persons by the authority of the Church, have the right to 
acquire, retain and administrate temporal goods according to the 
sacred Canons. (Canon 1495.) 

1290. The Church has also the right independently of the 
civil authorities to demand of the faithful the necessary means 


for the conducting of Divine worship, the maintenance of the 
clergy and of others working for the Church, and for all other 
purposes proper to the end for which the Church is established. 
(Canon 1496.) 

1291. The temporal goods, both movable and immovable, 
and the temporal rights which belong either to the universal 
Church, or to the Apostolic See, or to another legal person in the 
Church, are ecclesiastical goods. 

These goods are called sacred, if they have been destined 
for Divine worship by consecration or blessing; precious, if they 
have great value either on account of art, or history, or material. 
(Canon 1497.) 

1292. In the following Canons the term Church signifies 
not only the universal Church, or the Apostolic See, but also 
every legal person of the Church, unless the contrary is apparent 
from the context or from the very nature of the law. (Canon 


Acquisition of Ecclesiastical Goods. 

1293. The Church may acquire temporal goods by all just 
means, of both the natural and positive law, by which others may 
acquire goods. 

The ownership of the goods belongs under the supreme 
authority of the Apostolic See to that legal person which right 
fully acquired these same goods. (Canon 1499.) 

1294. If the territory of a legal ecclesiastical person is 
divided so that either a part of it is united to another legal per 
son, or a distinct legal person is constituted by the separation, 
the common goods which were destined for the benefit of the 
entire territory, and also the debts contracted for the whole ter 
ritory, shall be divided with proper proportion and in all fairness 
by the competent ecclesiastical authority which orders the divi 
sion. Due regard shall be had for the intentions of founders 
and benefactors, for acquired legal rights and for special laws 
governing certain legal persons. (Canon 1500.) 

1295. If a legal person ceases to exist, its goods shall be 
long to the immediate superior legal person, saving always the 
will and intentions of founders and benefactors, lawfully ac- 


quired rights and the special laws which governed the extinct 
person. (Canon 1501.)^ 

1296. The payment of the decimae and primitiae shall be 
governed by the special laws and laudable customs of each coun 
try. (Canon 1502.) 

1297. Private individuals, both clerics and laymen, are 
forbidden to collect alms for any charitable or ecclesiastical in 
stitution or purpose without the written permission of either the 
Apostolic See or of their own Ordinary and the bishop of the 
place where the alms are to be collected. Canons 621-624 regu 
late the collection of alms by religious. (Canon 1503.) 

1298. All churches or benefices subject to the jurisdiction 
of a bishop must annually pay to the bishop the cathedraticum, 
or a moderate tax as a token of subjection, to be determined by 
the bishop according to Canon 1507, 1, unless it has already 
been fixed by ancient custom. (Canon 1504.) 

1299. The bishop can impose for reason of special needs 
of the diocese an extraordinary moderate tax on all beneficiaries, 
both of the secular and the religious clergy, besides the seminary 
assessment mentioned in Canons 1355 and 1356, and the pensions 
spoken of in Canon 1429. (Canon 1505.) 

1300. Other taxes for the benefit of the diocese or a patron 
the bishop can impose on churches, benefices and other ecclesias 
tical institutions, only at the time of foundation or consecration. 
No tax can be imposed on Mass stipends, whether given in the 
ordinary way or by the foundation of Masses. (Canon 1506.) 

1301. Saving the rules laid down in Canons 1056 and 
1234, the taxation of various acts of so-called voluntary juris 
diction, which means the concession of dispensations and other 
favors, and for the execution of rescripts of the Holy See, or on 
occasion of the administration of the Sacraments and sacramen- 
tals, may be fixed for the whole ecclesiastical province by the 
Provincial Council or in a meeting of the bishops of the Pro 
vince ; but such regulation of taxes shall not have any force un 
less first approved by the Holy See. 

The taxes for judicial acts are laid down in Canon 1909. 
(Canon 1507.) 

1302. Prescription by means of which a person may ac 
quire rights, or free itself from obligations, is accepted by the 
Church in reference to ecclesiastical goods in the manner in 


which the civil laws of the respective countries admit prescrip 
tion, saving the exceptions contained in the following Canons. 
( Canon 1508.) 

1303. Not subject to prescription are: 

1. the rights and duties of the Divine law, both natural and 
positive ; 

2. rights which can be obtained only by Apostolic indult; 

3. spiritual rights of which the laymen are incapable, if 
there is question of prescription in favor of lay people ; 

4. the fixed limits of the territory of ecclesiastical pro 
vinces, dioceses, parishes, vicariates and prefectures apostolic, 
abbeys and prelacies nullius; 

5. stipends and obligations of Masses; 

6. an ecclesiastical benefice without a title to the same ; 

7. the right of visitation and obedience in such manner 
that the subjects cannot be visited by any prelate and are no 
longer subject to any prelate; 

8. the payment of the cathedraticum. (Canon 1509.) 

1304. Sacred objects which are in the dominion of private 
persons can be acquired by private individuals by right of pre 
scription but they may not use these objects for profane pur 
poses. If they have lost the consecration or blessing, they may 
be freely acquired also for profane, not, however, for indecent 

Sacred objects which are not in possession of private indi 
viduals can be prescribed by a legal ecclesiastical person against 
another legal ecclesiastical person, not, however, by private indi 
viduals. (Canon 1510.) 

1305. Immovable and movable precious goods, rights and 
actions, both personal and real, belonging to the Apostolic See 
are prescribed by a space of one hundred years. 

Goods and rights belonging to another ecclesiastical legal 
person are prescribed by a space of thirty years. (Canon 1511.) 

1306. No prescription is valid unless it is based on good 
faith, not only in the beginning of possession but during the 
whole time required for prescription. (Canon 1512.) 

1307. He who can either by natural or by ecclesiastical 
law freely dispose of his goods, may relinquish them in favor of 
pious institutions, either by donation or by last will. 

In a last will made in favor of the Church the formalities 


of the civil law should be complied with, if possible; if they were 
omitted, the heirs should be admonished to fulfil the will of the 
testator. (Canon 1513.) 

The present Canon indirectly settles the dispute as to the 
obligation of heirs to fulfil the last will made in favor of some 
ecclesiastical institution, if the last will was invalid for lack of 
the formalities prescribed by the civil law. The Canon does not 
impose a strict obligation on the heirs but wants them to be ad 
monished to fulfil the will of the testator. 

1308. The will of the faithful who leave their goods by 
donation or last will to pious institutions should be most faith 
fully executed, also in reference to the manner desired by the 
giver in the administration and application of the goods, saving 
the law of Canon 1515, 3. (Canon 1514.) 

1309. The Ordinaries are the executors of all bequests 
made in favor of pious institutions, either by donation or last 

By virtue of this right the Ordinaries have the power and 
obligation, also by way of visitation, to see to it that the pious 
intentions are complied with, and other, delegated, executors 
must give an account to the bishop of the exercise of their office. 

If there are any clauses added to the last will derogatory 
to this right of the bishop they are not to be considered. (Canon 

1310. The cleric or religious who has, either by way of 
donation or by last will, received goods in trust for pious pur 
poses, must notify the Ordinary and indicate to him all such 
goods, both movable and immovable, with the obligations at 
tached to them; if the donor has explicitly and absolutely for 
bidden to refer the matter to the Ordinary the cleric or religious 
shall not accept the trust. 

The Ordinary must demand that the goods received in trust 
are safely invested and watch over the fulfilment of the pious 
intentions of the testator, according to Canon 1515. 

If a religious is put in trust of goods left in favor of any 
church of the diocese, or for the benefit of residents or pious 
works in the diocese, the Ordinary spoken of in the two preced 
ing paragraphs of this Canon is the Ordinary of the diocese, 
otherwise the major religious superior. (Canon 1516.) 

1311. The reduction, changing, commutation of last wills, 


wills, which is to be made only for just and necessary causes, is 
reserved to the Holy See, unless the founder has explicitly given 
this power to the local Ordinary. 

If, however, the execution of the imposed obligations has 
become impossible on account of a decrease in the revenue, which 
was not caused by any fault of the administrators, the Ordinary 
after having heard the parties interested, and trying to adhere 
as much as possible to the will of the deceased founder, may re 
duce the obligation according to the laws of equity; the reduction 
of Masses, however, is reserved exclusively to the Holy See. 
(Canon 1517.) 


The Administration of Ecclesiastical Goods. 

1312. The Roman Pontiff is the supreme administrator 
and dispenser of all ecclesiastical goods. (Canon 1518.) 

1313. The local Ordinary has the duty to faithfully 
watch over the administration of all ecclesiastical goods in the 
territory of his jurisdiction, except those exempted from his 
authority; he may, however, have acquired jurisdiction even over 
exempt goods by legal prescription. 

Having due regard to the rights, legitimate customs and 
circumstances, the Ordinaries shall, within the limits of the com 
mon law, issue opportune instructions for the administration and 
business transactions concerning all ecclesiastical goods. (Canon 

1314. In every diocese the bishop shall establish a board 
of administrators which is to consist of the bishop as president 
and two or more qualified men, who should, as far as possible, 
be familiar also with the civil law relative to goods and property. 
The members of the board are to be appointed by the bishop after 
consultation with the cathedral Chapter or the diocesan consul- 
tors. If by special law or by custom sufficient provision is made 
already for administration by a similar board, it will suffice. 

^ Persons related to the bishop by blood relationship, or affin 
ity in the first and second degree, cannot be appointed to the 
office of administrator, except by indult of the Holy See. 

The Ordinary shall not omit to consult the board of ad 
ministrators in affairs of great importance; the vote of the board, 
however, is only consultive, unless the common law in some cases 


explicitly states that it is decisive, or the document of foundation 
of some benefice gives such a vote to the board. 

The members of the board shall take an oath before the Or 
dinary for the faithful attendance to their office. (Canon 1520.) 

1315. Besides the diocesan board of administrators, the 
bishop shall appoint good and conscientious men for the adminis 
tration of goods belonging to a church or charitable institution 
which has no administrator by law, neither by the special pro 
vision of a founder. They should be in office for three years, 
unless the circumstances of the place make other arrangements 

If laymen have part in the administration of ecclesiastical 
goods, either by legitimate title of foundation, or by the will of 
the bishop, the administration must be entirely transacted in the 
name of the Church and the Ordinary has the right of visitation, 
of demanding an account, and of prescribing rules for the man 
ner of administration. ( Canon 1521.) 

1316. The administrators mentioned in the preceding 
Canon must, before entering upon their office : 

1. take an oath before the bishop or the dean of the dis 
trict that they will faithfully attend to the administration ; 

2. make an accurate new inventory of all immovable and 
movable goods of any kind, with their description and valuation, 
subscribed to by all the administrators; if they use an old inven 
tory, those goods that were lost as well as those acquired since it 
was made must be noted or added to it. 

Of this inventory one copy is to be kept in the archives of 
the administration, and another in the archives of the episcopal 
curia. In each copy shall be noted any change which the goods 
of the church or institution may suffer. (Canon 1522.) 

1317. The administrators shall fulfill their office with the 
same solicitude as exercised by the father of a family, and they 
shall therefore : 

1. watch that the ecclesiastical goods confided to their care 
do not get lost or suffer damage in any way; 

2. observe the rules of Canon Law, as well as the civil law, 
and the special regulations imposed either by the founder or 
donor and the legitimate authority ; 

3. collect the revenue due to the institution, place the 
money safely, and spend it according to the mind of the founder 
and the existing laws and regulations ; 


4. the money of a church which is over and above expen 
ditures, and which can be usefully invested, shall, with the 
consent of the Ordinary, be invested for the benefit of the church ; 

5. they shall keep the accounts of income and expenditures 
in good order ; 

6. put in good order the documents and papers which serve 
as proof of the rights of the church and carefully keep them in 
the archives or in the safe of the church; authentic copies of 
these should, as far as possible, be made and kept in the archives 
of the episcopal Curia. (Canon 1523.) 

1318. All administrators of ecclesiastical goods, and espe 
cially priests and religious, must pay the workmen whom they 
employ good and fair wages, and must see to it that at a con 
venient time they are free for prayer; must not in any way dis 
suade them from their domestic duties and thrift; and not 
impose on them more work than their strength can bear, nor work 
which does not agree with their age and sex. (Canon 1524.) 

1319. Each year all administrators, both clerics and lay 
men, are bound to give a financial statement to the bishop. Cus 
tom contrary to this obligation is disapproved in law. 

If by special law financial statement has to be made to cer 
tain specified persons, the Ordinary or his delegate must never 
theless be admitted to inspect the report, otherwise the adminis 
trators have not satisfied their duty. (Canon 1525.) 

1320. The administrators shall not start a lawsuit in the 
name of the church concerning church goods unless they have 
previously obtained the bishop s consent in writing, or the dean s 
in urgent cases; the dean shall at once inform the Ordinary of 
the case. (Canon 1526.) 

1321. Administrators act invalidly in actions which exceed 
the limits of ordinary administration, unless they first obtain the 
bishop s consent in writing. 

The Church is not held to the contracts made by administra 
tors without the permission of the competent superior, except 
when, and in as far as, it has turned to its advantage. (Canon 

1322. Administrators who, even though not obliged to the 
administration by reason of the benefice or office, drop the office 
of administrator which they had explicitly or tacitly accepted 
and cause by their withdrawal damage to the Church are held to 
restitution. (Canon 1528.) 




1323. The civil law on contracts and payments of all kinds 
is to be observed also by virtue of Canon Law, with the same 
effects of licitness, invalidity, etc., in contracts concerning ecclesi 
astical goods, unless the civil law in some of its rules is contrary 
to the Divine law, or the Canon Law explicitly lays down other 
conditions for certain contracts. (Canon 1529.) 

1324. For the alienation of immovable ecclesiastical goods 
and movable goods which can be preserved, the following is re 
quired : ( 1 ) a valuation to be made in writing by conscientious 
experts; (2) a just cause which consists either in urgent neces 
sity or evident utility to the church or charitable institutions; 
(3) permission of the legitimate superior without which the 
alienation is invalid. 

Other opportune precautions, which the ecclesiastical su 
perior should demand according to the circumstances of the case, 
must be observed in order that no damage may come to the 
Church. (Canon 1530.) 

1325. The goods must not be disposed of for less than they 
were appraised. 

The sale is to be done by public auction, or, at least, to be 
announced publicly, unless circumstances make a different course 
advisable; the goods should be sold to the one who, all things 
considered, offers the better price. 

The money obtained from the sale of the goods shall be 
carefully placed in safe and useful investments. (Canon 1531.) 

1326. The legitimate superior for the granting of permis 
sion to alienate church property is the Holy See if there is ques 
tion, (1) of precious goods (confer Canon 1497 as to the mean 
ing of res pretiosa), (2) of goods which exceed in value thirty 
thousand francs, about $6,000.00. 

If there is question of goods which do not exceed in value 
one thousand francs, about two hundred dollars, the Ordinary 
may give permission after having heard the board of administra 
tors and the persons interested, unless the matter is of very small 

If there is question of goods valued at between one thousand 
and thirty thousand francs, the Ordinary may give permission 


provided he obtains the consent of the cathedral Chapter or the 
diocesan consultors and the board of administration, and of those 

If there is question of disposing of goods which can be sold 
in parts, it is necessary when asking for permission or consent to 
state what part or portion was sold before; otherwise the per 
mission is invalid. (Canon 1532.) 

1327. The formalities demanded by Canons 1530-1532 are 
required not only in an alienation properly so called, but also for 
any contract by which the condition of the church becomes worse. 
(Canon 1533.) 

1328. The Church has the right of personal action against 
him who without due formalities alienated ecclesiastical goods 
and against his heirs; a right of real action, if the alienation was 
invalid, against any possessor of the illegally sold goods; the 
buyer has the right to sue the person who illegally sold him 
church goods. 

Action can be brought against the invalid alienation of eccle 
siastical goods by the person who sold them, by his superior, or 
their successors in office, and by any cleric assigned to the church 
which suffered harm. (Canon 1534.) 

1329. The prelates and rectors shall not dare to make do 
nations from the movable goods of their churches except in small 
amounts sanctioned by legitimate custom of the place, and only 
for reasons of just remuneration, or piety, or Christian charity; 
otherwise the donations can be recalled by their successors in 
office. (Canon 1535.) 

1330. Unless the contrary is proved, it is to be presumed 
that donations given to rectors of churches, also to rectors be 
longing to religious communities, are given to the church. 

A donation given to the church cannot be refused by the 
rector or the superior without permission of the Ordinary. 

If a donation to the church has been illegally refused, action 
may be instituted for rcstitutio in integrum, or for indemnity on 
account of the loss the church has suffered. 

A donation made to the church and lawfully accepted by the 
same cannot be recalled by the benefactor on account of ingrati 
tude of the prelate or rector. (Canon 1536.) 

1331. Sacred objects shall not be loaned for purposes re 
pugnant to their nature. (Canon 1537.) 


1332. If the goods of a church are for good reasons to be 
placed under mortgage or similar obligation, or debts are to be 
contracted, the superior who has according to Canon 1532 the 
right to grant permission, shall insist that previously all parties 
interested are heard, and attend to it that the debts are paid as 
soon as possible. 

The Ordinary should for this purpose determine how much 
is to be paid off annually. (Canon 1538.) 

1333. In the sale or exchange of sacred objects the price 
must not in any way be raised on account of their consecration 
or blessing. 

Administrators may change notes payable to bearer into 
other investments at least equally safe and fruitful, without, 
however, any kind of barter, and with the consent of the Ordi 
nary and the diocesan board of administrators and the parties 
interested. (Canon 1539.) 

1334. The immovable goods of the church must not be 
sold or rented to the administrators of the same church, or to 
persons related to them in the first and second degree of consan 
guinity or affinity, without special permission of the local Ordi 
nary. (Canon 1540.) 

1335. Land belonging to the church should not be rented 
except by public auction, or other public announcement, and con 
ditions are to be added to the contract concerning the guarding 
of the boundaries, proper cultivation of the soil, and payment of 
the rent, all of which should be secured by legal document. 

In renting ecclesiastical goods the following rules are to be 
observed : (1) if the value of the renting exceeds thirty thousand 
francs and lasts over nine years, the beneplacitum of the Holy 
See is required; if the renting does not extend over nine years, 
the rule of Canon 1532, 3, is to be followed; (2) if the value is 
between one thousand and thirty thousand francs and the renting 
extends over nine years Canon 1532, 3 rules, if not above nine 
years, 2 of the same Canon; (3) if the value does not exceed 
one thousand francs and the renting extends over nine years, 
Canon 1532, 2, is to be observed ; if it does not extend over nine 
years, it may be done by the legitimate administrators, having 
first notified the bishop. (Canon 1541.) 

1336. In a lease of ecclesiastical property the lessee cannot 
purchase the canonical portion of the fruits of the land, due to 


the church, without permission of the legitimate ecclesiastical 
superior spoken of in Canon 1532; if he buys this portion he 
must at least pay as much money to the church as the portion is 

Proper security is to be demanded of the lessee for the spe 
cified portion of the produce and other conditions. In the docu 
ment itself granting the lease (in Canon Law for at least a period 
of ten years) it should be stated that the ecclesiastical court is to 
be the arbitrator in disputes that may arise, and that the improve 
ments of the property are to remain attached to the property. 
(Canon 1542.) 

1337. If goods are loaned which are consumed by use in 
such a manner that the other becomes at once the owner and they 
are to be returned by goods of the same kind, (a contract which 
theologians call "mutuum") nothing can be asked by reason of 
the contract itself; in an ordinary loan, however, of goods which 
are consumed by use it is not in itself unlawful to make an agree 
ment for legal interest, unless the interest is too high ; but agree 
ment for higher interest than the law allows may be made if 
there is a just and proportionate reason for such a demand. 
(Canon 1543.) 


Pious Foundations. 

1338. By the name of pious foundations are meant tem 
poral goods given to a legal ecclesiastical person in any manner, 
with the perpetual obligation, or an obligation of many years 
to say annually some Masses, or perform other specified func 
tions, or do some works of piety and charity with the revenue 
of the donated goods. 

The foundation when legitimately accepted has the nature 
of a bilateral contract: do ut facias. (Canon 1544.) 

1339. It is the right of the bishop to prescribe the regula 
tions concerning the quantity of the endowment for less than 
which no pious foundation can be accepted, and the distribution 
of the income of the foundation. (Canon 1545.) 

1340. The written consent of the Ordinary of the diocese 
is required for the acceptance of such foundation by legal per 
sons; the Ordinary should not grant the consent unless he has 
previously ascertained that the church or institution can satisfy 


the old foundations as well as the new one; above all he shall 
take care that the income from the foundation correspond to the 
imposed obligations, according to the custom of the respective 

In the accepting, constituting and administrating of the 
foundation the patron of a church has no rights. (Canon 1546.) 

1341. Money and movable goods given for the endow 
ment of a foundation are, by authority of the bishop, to be put 
in a safe place until they can be invested for the benefit of the 
foundation. The parties interested and the diocesan board of 
administrators are to be consulted before the bishop invests the 
money ; the obligations attached to the foundation are to be speci 
fied individually. (Canon 1547.) 

1342. Foundations, though made orally, shall be put in 
writing. One copy is to be kept in the archives of the episcopal 
curia, another in the archives of the place where the foundation 
is placed. (Canon 1548.) 

1343. Besides the regulations of Canons 1514-1517 and 
1525, there shall in every church a list be made of the obligations 
imposed by pious foundations, which the rector shall keep in a 
safe place. 

Besides the book in which the manual Mass stipends are en 
tered, another record is to be kept of perpetual or temporary 
foundation Masses, which record is to be guarded by the rector ; 
the application of the Masses and the amount of stipends re 
ceived must be noted in this book, and account is to be given to 
the Ordinary concerning these Masses. (Canon 1549.) 

1344. If there is question of pious foundations in churches 
of exempt religious, though they be parish churches, the rights 
and duties of the local Ordinary, of which Canons 1545-1549 
treat, belong exclusively to the major superior of the religious. 
(Canon 1550.) 

1345. The reduction of obligations imposed by pious foun 
dations is exclusively reserved to the Holy See, unless the docu 
ment of foundation explicitly gives to the bishop more rights; 
the Masses, however, can never be reduced by the bishop, as 
Canon 1517, 2, rules. 

The indult to reduce foundation Masses does not give power 
to reduce other Masses due by contract, nor other offices and 
duties imposed by the pious foundations. 


The general indult to reduce the obligations of pious foun 
dations is to be understood in the sense that the person pos 
sessing the indult reduce other obligations rather than Masses, 
unless there are reasons to prove that the indult was given for 
reduction of Masses. (Canon 1551.) 


Canonical Trials 


1346. By the name of ecclesiastical procedure are under 
stood the discussion and settlement before the ecclesiastical tri 
bunal of controversies over matters in which the Church has the 
right to judge. 

The subject-matter of canonical trials are: (1) the prose 
cution or vindication of the right of physical, or moral, persons, 
or to declare the actions of these persons legal ; this is called judi- 
cium contcntiosum; (2) offences, in order to inflict or declare a 
penalty; this is called a judicium criminalc. (Canon 1552.) 

1347. The Church by her own exclusive right judges: 

1. the cases which refer to spiritual matters, or to tem 
poral matters annexed to spiritual; 

2. the violation of ecclesiastical laws and all matters in 
which sin may be committed, in as far as the definition of guilt 
and the infliction of ecclesiastical punishment for the sins is 
concerned ; 

3. all cases of persons who enjoy the privilege of the eccle 
siastical forum, in accordance with Canons 120, 614 and 680. 

In those cases in which the civil authority is competent as 
well as the Church, and which are called matters of mixed forum, 
there holds the right of prevention, which means that whoever 
first calls the case to its tribunal, has the right to judge the case. 
(Canon 1553.) 

1348. The person who takes a case of the mixed forum 
to the secular court after it had been started by the ecclesiastical 
judge, can be punished, not however with censures, and he is 
deprived of the right to act in the ecclesiastical forum against 
the same person in the same or a connected matter. (Canon 
1554.) ^ 

1349. The tribunal of the Congregation of the Holy Office 
proceeds according to its own manner and arrangement and re 
tains its own proper custom ; and also the inferior tribunals must 



follow the rules given by the Holy Office in cases which belong 
to that Congregation. 

The other tribunals must observe the laws of the following 

In the trial for the dismissal of religious the laws of Canons 
654-668 are to be followed. (Canon 1555.) 

Trials in General. 

1350. Canons 1556-1924 treat of the details of economical 
trials of all kinds, and before various tribunals of the Church. 

Special Rules to Be Observed in Certain Specified Trials. 

Manner of Avoiding Canonical Trial. 


1351. As it is very desirable that canonical trials between 
the faithful be avoided, the judge shall exhort the parties who 
apply to him for settlement by process of law of a controversy 
over some private affair, to come to an agreement, if there is 
some hope that they may come to an understanding. 

The judge can issue this invitation either before the parties 
are called to court, or when they appear in court for the first 
time, or, finally, at any stage of the trial where he thinks the 
invitation to be more efficacious and opportune. 

It is as a rule more appropriate for the dignity of the judge 
not in person to invite the parties to amicable settlement, but 
rather to commit this to some priest, especially to one of the 
synodal judges. (Canon 1925.) 

1352. In this transaction, or friendly settlement, the rules 
of the civil law of the place where the transaction takes place, 
should he observed, except in cases where the civil law is con 
trary either to the Divine or the ecclesiastical law, and the fol 
lowing Canons shall also be observed. (Canon 1926.) 


1353. The transaction cannot validly be made either in 
criminal or contentious cases in which there is question of dis 
solving the marriage bond, or question of matters pertaining to 
benefices if the very title to the benefice is the subject of the 
dispute, or of spiritual matters, if payment with temporal goods 
intervened, unless the legitimate authority gives permission for 

If the dispute concerns temporal goods of the Church, or 
goods which though annexed to spiritual objects can nevertheless 
be considered apart from their spiritual aspect, transaction can 
take place, provided the formalities prescribed by law for the 
alienation of ecclesiastical goods are observed where the subject 
matter necessitates this. (Canon 1927.) 

1354. The effect of a transaction which has been success 
fully brought to conclusion is called compositio, adjustment; or 
concordia, agreement. 

The expenditures entailed in the transaction shall be equally 
divided between the parties, unless the contrary has been ex 
plicitly decreed. (Canon 1928.) 

Compromise by Arbitration. 

1355. In order to avoid judicial trials, the parties may als* 
enter into an agreement by which the controversy is committed 
to the judgment of one or several men, who shall adjust the 
question either according to the rules of law, or discuss and settle 
it without the formalities of law according to the rules of equity ; 
in the first case they are called arbitri, in the other arbitrator -es. 
(Canon 1929.) 

1356. The rules of Canons 1926 and 1927 must be applied 
also to the compromise of arbitration. (Canon 1930.) 

1357. In ecclesiastical cases laymen and those who are 
under excommunication or infamy of law, after a condemnatory 
or declaratory sentence, cannot validly exercise the office of arbi 
ters. Religious shall not accept the office of arbiters without 
permission of their superior. (Canon 1931.) 

1358. If the parties do not wish to consent either to the 
transaction, nor to settlement by arbitri or arbitrators, the con 
troversy must be decided by a formal trial outlined in the first 
section of the fourth book of the Code. (Canon 1932.) 



Criminal Trials. 

1359. Offences which fall under criminal procedure are the 
public offences. 

The offences which arc to be punished by penal sanctions, 
contained in Canons 2168-2194, are cxceptcd from the proce 
dure of criminal trials. 

In offences of the mixed forum the Ordinaries should not, 
as a rule, proceed against the offender if he is a lay person and 
public justice has been sufficiently satisfied by punishment in 
flicted by the civil authority. 

Penances, penal remedies, excommunication, suspension, in 
terdict, can be inflicted also outside the ecclesiastical court by the 
way of precept, provided the offence is certain. (Canon 1933.) 

Accusation and Denunciation. 

1360. The action of accusation of an offender is exclu 
sively reserved to the promoter of justice. (Canon 1934.) 

1361. Any of the faithful have at all times the right to 
denounce the offence of another for the purpose of asking for 
satisfaction, or for reparation of damages, or also for the sake 
of justice and the reparation of scandal and sin. 

The obligation of denunciation becomes imperative if one 
is obliged to it by law or by special legitimate precept, or by the 
very law of nature on account of danger to faith and morals or 
on account of any other public evil. (Canon 1935.) 

1362. The denunciation must be made in writing and 
signed by the denouncing party, or orally, before the Ordinary 
of the diocese, or the Chancellor of the Curia, the dean, the pas 
tor, but if made orally, it shall be put in writing and immediately 
forwarded to the Ordinary. (Canon 1936.) 

1363. The person who denounces an offence must aid the 
promoter of justice in the obtaining of proofs of the offence. 
(Canon 1937.) 

1364. In cases of injuries and defamation the criminal 
trial cannot be instituted against the offender unless denunciation 
or complaint has first been made by the injured party. 


If, however, there is question of grave injury or defama 
tion committed against a cleric or religious, especially one in 
dignity, or by a cleric or religious against another, criminal 
action can be instituted also ex officio t without denunciation or 
complaint, (Canon 1938.) 


1365. If the offence is neither notorious nor altogether 
certain, but has become known from rumor and public talk, or 
by denunciation, or by complaint of damages, or by a general 
investigation made by the Ordinary, or for any other reason, a 
special investigation, called in law inquisition, must be made be 
fore summoning the supposed offender to court, in order to 
ascertain whether and what reason there is in die imputation. 

This rule must be observed whether there is question of in 
flicting a punitive penalty or a censure, or of issuing a decla 
ration of a penalty or censure into which one had fallen. (Can 
on 1939.) 

1366. Though the inquisition or investigation may be made 
by the Ordinary himself, it should by general rule be committed 
to one of the synodal judges, unless the same Ordinary wishes 
for a special reason to commit it to some one else. ( Canon 1940. ) 

1367. The inquisitor shall not be delegated for all cases 
universally but for one case only at a time. 

The inquisitor is held to the same obligations as the ordinary 
judges, and first of all he must take the oath to observe secrecy 
and to fulfil his office faithfully and to abstain from acceptation 
of presents, according to Canons 1621-1624. These Canons de 
mand that all officers taking part in a canonical trial must take 
the oath tendered either by the bishop or the judge who ap 
pointed them to act in the case. Furthermore, these Canons 
insist on the obligation of secrecy for all those concerned in the 
case, and on the prohibition of accepting presents on occasion 
of any acts connected with the trial. 

The inquisitor cannot act as judge in the same case. (Canon 

1368 It is left to the good judgment of the Ordinary to 


decide when there are sufficient reasons to institute the in 

No consideration is to be given to denunciations which come 
from a pronounced enemy, or a vile and unworthy person, or 
by an anonymous letter that is void of such adjuncts and ele 
ments as would tend to make the accusation somewhat probable. 
(Canon 1942.) 

1369. The investigation must always be conducted secretly 
and handled with the utmost care, in order that the rumor of the 
offence may not spread and that no one s good reputation may 
be endangered. (Canon 1943.) 

1370. For obtaining the purpose of the investigation the 
inquisitor may call some persons whom he believes to have 
knowledge of the affair, and ask them under oath of telling the 
truth and of keeping the matter secret. 

In the examination of these persons the rules for the exami 
nation of witnesses, as given in Canons 1770-1781, should be 
followed by the inquisitor as far as possible, and in so far as the 
nature of the inquisition permits. (Canon 1944.) 

1371. The inquisitor before closing the inquisition may 
seek the advice of the promotor of justice whenever he meets 
with some difficulty, and communicate to him the acts of the in 
quisition. (Canon 1945.) 

1372. When the inquisition is brought to a close the in 
quisitor shall refer to the Ordinary all results, together with his 
own opinion in the case. 

The Ordinary, or by his special mandate the appointed judge 
of the Curia, called the officialis, shall (1) give orders to make 
a statement of the fact which is to be kept in the secret archives 
of the Curia, if the investigation proved that the denunciation 
was lacking solid foundation; (2) if there are indications of the 
offence, but insufficient to bring accusatory action against the 
person, the acts shall be kept in the secret archives and the sus 
pected individual shall be watched in the meantime. It is left to 
the good judgment of the bishop to ask the suspect concerning 
the affair and to admonish him, if the suspicion is based on grave 
reasons; (3) finally, if there are certain or at least probable and 
sufficient reasons at hand to institute the accusation, the guilty 
party shall be summoned to appear, and further proceedings shall 
be instituted according to the following Canons. (Canon 1946.) 



Reprimand of the Delinquent. 

1373. If the guilty person confesses the fault, the Ordinary 
shall employ the judicial reprimand, if it can take place, instead 
of the criminal trial. (Canon 1947.) 

1374. The judicial reprimand cannot be employed, (1) in 
offences to which is attached the excommunication reserved to 
the Holy See specialissimo or speciali mo do, or the privation of 
the benefice, the penalty of infamy, deposition or degradation; 

(2) when there is question of issuing a declaratory sentence of 
a punitive penalty or of a censure into which one has fallen; 

(3) when the Ordinary believes that the reprimand would not 
suffice for the reparation of scandal and the satisfaction of 
justice. (Canon 1948.) 

1375. The reprimand may be employed once or twice, not, 
however, a third time against the same offender. 

Wherefore, if after the second reprimand the offender com 
mits again the same crime, the criminal procedure must be started, 
or continued, if previously begun, according to Canon 1954 and 
the following. (Canon 1949.) 

1376. Within the limits of Canons 1947 and 1948, the Or 
dinary may make use of the reprimand not only before the formal 
trial has commenced, but also after its commencement in the 
course of the trial, up to the conclusion of the case; in that case 
the trial is suspended, unless it has to be continued because the 
reprimand produced no result. (Canon 1950.) 

1377. The reprimand may also be employed when com 
plaint is made for damages caused by the offence. 

In that case the Ordinary may with the consent of the par 
ties examine into and decide the question of damage by the rules 
of equity. 

If the Ordinary, however, judges that the question of 
damage cannot easily be decided by the rules of equity, he may 
issue the reprimand for the purpose of repairing the scandal and 
bringing about the amendment of the offender, and order the 
question of damage to be settled by ordinary process of the ca 
nonical trial. (Canon 1951.) 

1378. The judicial reprimand must, besides salutary ad 
monitions, contain, as a rule, certain opportune remedies, or pre- 


scription of penances or of pious deeds, such as are apt to pub 
licly repair the violation of justice, or the scandal. 

The salutary remedies, penances, pious works, to be imposed 
on the offender should be milder and easier than those which 
could or should have been inflicted on him by the sentence of 
condemnation in the criminal trial. (Canon 1952.) 

1379. The reprimand is considered to have been employed 
uselessly if the offender does not accept, or accepts but does not 
comply with the remedies, penances and pious works, imposed on 
him. (Canon 1953.) 


Construction of the Criminal Trial and Summons of the 


1380. If the judicial reprimand is either insufficient for 
the reparation of scandal and the restoration of justice, or cannot 
be employed because the offender denies the offence, or has been 
applied uselessly, the bishop, or the official judge by special man 
date of the bishop, shall command the acts of the inquisition to 
be given to the promoter of justice. (Canon 1954.) 

1381. The promotor of justice shall at once draw up the 
indictment and present the same to the judge, according to the 
laws of canonical procedure laid down in the first section of the 
fourth book of the Code. (Canon 1955.) 

1382. In more serious offences, where the Ordinary judges 
that the accused party would scandalize the faithful by the exer 
cise of the sacred ministry, or some spiritual or religious ecclesi 
astical office, or by publicly receiving holy Communion, he may 
after consultation with the promotor of justice prohibit the 
accused party from the exercise of the sacred ministry, or those 
offices, or the public reception of holy Communion, as is per 
mitted under these circumstances by Canon 2222, 2. (Canon 

1383. Likewise, if the judge fears that the accused party 
may intimidate the witnesses or bribe them, or impede the course 
of justice in any other way, he may, after consultation with the 
promotor of justice, command by decree that the offender leave 
the town or parish, or retire to a specified place and remain there 
tinder special surveillance. (Canon 1957.) 


1384. The decrees spoken of in Canons 1956 and 1957 
cannot be issued until after the accused party has been summoned 
and has appeared in court, or has become contumacious; they 
may be issued not only after his first appearance in court in 
answer to the summons, but also later on in the course of the 
trial; against these decrees the law does not allow the accused 
party to raise objection. (Canon 1958.) 

1385. For the rest of the procedure in criminal cases the 
general laws on canonical procedure, contained in the first sec 
tion of the fourth book of the Code, are to be followed ; in the 
inflicting of penalties the laws of the fifth book of the Code are 
to be adhered to. (Canon 1959.) 


Matrimonial Cases. 


Competent Forum. 

1386. Matrimonial cases between baptized people belong 
by proper and exclusive right to the ecclesiastical judge. (Canon 

1387. Cases concerning only civil sequences of marriage 
belong to the civil magistrates, as stated in Canon 1016, if they 
constitute the principal action in the case ; if, however, civil con 
sequences are incidental or accessory questions in the case, they 
may be examined and decided also by the ecclesiastical judge by 
his own authority. (Canon 1962.) 

1388. Matrimonial cases of kings, etc., mentioned in Canon 
1557, 1, n. 1, shall be judged exclusively by the S. Congrega 
tion, or the tribunal, or special committee, which the Supreme 
Pontiff shall in each individual case delegate. The cases of dis 
pensation of the matrimonium ratum et non consummatum are 
reserved to the S. Congregation of the Sacraments; the cases 
which have reference to the privilegiwn Panlinum are reserved 
to the S. Congregation of the Holy Office. (Canon 1963.) 

1389. Wherefore no inferior judge can institute the canon 
ical trial in cases of dispensation of the matrimonium ratum un 
less the Holy See has first granted faculty. 


If, however, a competent judge has by his own authority 
instituted trial for nullity of marriage for reason of impotence 
and it should happen that, while impotence could not be proved, 
there appeared proof of matrimonium non consummatum, all 
the acts of the case shall be forwarded to the S. Congregation of 
the Sacraments, which may use the proofs for issuing sentence 
on the matrimonium ratum et non consummatum. (Canon 

1390. In all other matrimonial cases that judge is compe 
tent who is the lawful judge in the place or diocese in which the 
marriage was contracted, or in which the party brought to court 
has a domicile or quasi-domicile ; if one of the married parties 
is a non-Catholic, the domicile or quasi-domicile of the Catholic 
party is to be considered. (Canon 1964.) 

1391. If the court is asked to declare marriage invalid for 
want of consent, the judge should first of all try by opportune 
admonitions to induce the party, whose consent is said to have 
been deficient, to renew the consent. If the essential form of 
the contract was wanting, or marriage was made invalid by a 
diriment impediment of a kind from which the Church can and 
usually does dispense, the judge shall endeavor to induce the 
parties to renew the consent in the legal form, or to ask for a 
dispensation, (Canon 1965.) 


Constitution of the Tribunal. 

1392. By law of Canon 1576, 1, n. 1, all marriage cases 
in which there is question of the marriage bond itself must be 
decided by a board of three judges; in the inquisition for a dis 
pensation of a matrimonium ratum et non consummatum there 
is but one judge to institute the procedure. (Canon 1966.) 

1393. The defensor vinculi matrimonialis must be sum 
moned in cases of nullity of marriage as well as in the proceed 
ings for collecting proof of the non-consummation of marriage, 
and of reasons for the dispensation. (Canon 1967.) 

1394. It is the duty of the defensor vinculi: 

1. to be present at the examination of the parties, the wit 
nesses and the experts ; to present to the judge a list of questions 
in closed and sealed enveloppe, to be opened by the judge and pro- 


posed to the parties or to the witnesses in the very act of the 
examination; to suggest to the judge new questions arising from 
the examination; 

2. to examine the points proposed by the parties and to 
contradict them so far as may be necessary; to examine the 
documents exhibited by the parties; 

3. to write and allege arguments against the nullity of 
marriage and in favor of its validity or its consummation; to 
bring out all proofs that he thinks useful for maintaining the 
validity of the marriage in question. (Canon 1968.) 

1395. The defensor vinculi has the right: 

1. Always and at any stage of the trial to inspect the 
acts of the case, even those not yet made public ; to demand more 
time for drawing up his written defence, the time to be allotted 
according to the good judgment of the judge; 

2. to be informed of all proofs and allegations in such 
manner that he may use the right to contradict; 

3. to ask that other witnesses be introduced or that the 
same be examined over again, even after the trial has been 
finished or published, and to make other observations ; 

4. to demand that other acts which he suggests be drawn 
up, unless the court objects by unanimous vote, (Canon 1969,) 


Right to Accuse a Marriage and to Ask the Dispensation 
from the Matrimonium Ratum. 

1396. The board of judges cannot take cognizance of, nor 
decide, any marriage case, unless the regular accusation or legally 
made petition has preceded. (Canon 1970.) 

1397. The following persons are capable of making accu 
sation against a marriage : 

1. the married parties in all cases of separation and nullity, 
unless they themselves were the cause of the impediment ; 

2. the promoter of justice in impediments which are of 
their nature public. 

All others, though blood relations, have no right to accuse 
the marriage but only to denounce its invalidity to the Ordinary 
or the promoter of justice. (Canon 1971.)- 

1398. The marriage which was not accused during the life 
time of both parties cannot be accused after the death of either 


party, or of both, but is presumed valid in law in such manner 
that against this presumption no proof is admitted, except where 
the question arises incidentally. (Canon 1972.) 

1399. The married parties alone have the right to ask for 
a dispensation of a matrimonium ratum et non consummatum* 
(Canon 1973.) 



Article I. Witnesses. 

1400. Relations by blood or marriage who by Law of 
Canon 1757, 3, n. 3, in any degree in the direct, and in the first 
degree of the collateral, line, are excluded as witnesses in other 
cases, may act as witnesses in marriage cases of their relations. 
(Canon 1974.) 

1401. In cases of impotence or non-consummation of mar 
riage, unless the impotence or non-consummation is known with 
certainty from other sources, each of the married couple must 
produce witnesses, who are called septimae mantis, from relations 
of blood or by marriage, or if such cannot be had, neighbors of 
good reputation, or otherwise well informed persons, who can 
swear to the probity of the married couple and especially as to 
their veracity concerning the matter of the controversy; the 
judge may also introduce other witnesses ex officio, and this he 
may, according to Canon 1759, 3, do in all cases that concern 
the public welfare. 

The testimony of the septimae manus is an argument of 
credibility which adds force to the depositions of the married 
couple; it has not, however, the force of full proof, unless it is 
supported by other evidence and arguments. (Canon 1975.) 

Article II. Bodily Inspection. 

1402. In the cases of impotence and non-consummation of 
marriage bodily inspection of both, or of one, of the married 
parties must be made by experts, unless this appears evidently 
useless on account of circumstances. (Canon 1976.) 

1403. The experts are to be chosen by the judge after con 
sultation with the defensor vinculi, and, besides the general regu 
lations of Canons 1792-1805 concerning experts, the following 
Canons shall be observed. (Canon 1977.) 


1404. Those who have privately inspected the married 
couple concerning the fact on which the petition for declaration 
of nullity or non-consummation is based, shall not be admitted 
to the office of experts; they may, however, be introduced as 
witnesses. (Canon 1978.) 

1405. For the inspection of the man two skilled physicians 
shall be appointed ex officio, that is to say, by the judge and not 
by choice of the parties. 

For the inspection of the woman two midwives who have a 
legal certificate to practice obstetrics shall be named ex officio, un 
less the woman should prefer two physicians for the inspection, 
or the Ordinary should think their testimony to be necessary ; the 
doctors are likewise to be appointed ex officio. 

The bodily inspection of the woman must be done with the 
entire observance of Christian modesty and in the presence al 
ways of an ho norable matron to be designated ex officio. (Canon 

1406. The inspection of the woman by the midwives or 
experts must be done by each of them separately. 

Each of the physicians or midwives shall make a separate 
report within a space of time fixed by the judge. 

The judge may subject the report of the midwives to the 
examination of an expert physician, if he should think this ad 
visable. (Canon 1980.) 

1407. After the report has been handed to the judge, the 
experts, midwives and matron, shall be separately questioned by 
the judge according to points prepared previously by the defensor 
vinculi to which they shall answer under oath. (Canon 1981.) 

1408. Also in cases of want of consent for reason of in 
sanity the judgment of experts is required who shall, if necessary, 
examine with scientific precision the sick person and those of his 
actions which give reason to suspect insanity ; moreover, experts 
who have visited the sick person before the case came to court 
shall be heard as witnesses. (Canon 1982.) 


Publication of the Trial, Conclusion of the Case, and 


1409. After the publication of the trial the parties may, 
with the permission of the judge, introduce new witnesses to tes 
tify on the various articles of the case. 


If, however, the same witnesses who have been questioned 
on the same points before, are again to be examined on those 
points it may be done only before the former testimony of wit 
nesses has been made public, and provided there has been no un 
derhand agreement or bribe; the defensor vinculi has the right 
to oppose with timely exceptions. (Canon 1983.) 

1410. The defensor vinculi has the right to demand that 
he have the last word in arguing, petitioning and answering, in 
writing as well as in the oral defence. 

Wherefore the tribunal shall not proceed to a definite sen 
tence before having asked the defensor vinculi and received the 
answer that he has nothing more to say or to inquire concerning 
the case. 

If, however, the defensor vinculi does not make any further 
statement before the date set for the final sentence, it is presumed 
that he has nothing more to add to the defence of the case. 
(Canon 1984.) 

1411. In cases which refer to the dispensation from the 
matrimonium ratum et non consummation, the judge who draws 
up the case shall neither publish the acts of the case, nor proceed 
to a sentence on the non-consummation of the marriage and the 
reasons for a dispensation, but shall forward all the acts of the 
case together with the opinion of the bishop and of the defensor 
vinculi to the Holy See, (Canon 1985.) 



1412. The defensor vinculi must within the time fixed by 
law appeal to a higher tribunal from the first sentence which de 
clared a marriage null and void; if he neglects to fulfil this office, 
he shall be forced to do so by the authority of the judge. (Canon 

1413. After the second sentence has confirmed the nullity 
of the marriage the parties are free to marry again after ten days 
from the publication of the second sentence, provided the defen 
sor vinculi of the court of appeal has not within that time ap 
pealed the case to a third tribunal. (Canon 1987.) 

1414. After the marriage has been annulled, the Ordinary 
shall see to it that mention of the annulment is made in the max;- 


riage and baptismal records where the marriage had been entered. 
(Canon 1988.) 

1415. As the sentence in matrimonial cases never becomes 
a res judicata, the cases can be opened again if new arguments 
come to light, which arguments must, however, be of great 
weight, according to Canon 1903. A res judicata is an absolutely 
final settlement of a case so that no appeal is accepted against it, 
and such a case can be opened only by obtaining the restitutio in 
integrum which cannot be granted unless the injustice of the sen 
tence has become evident by revelation of facts unknown before. 
(Canon 1989.) 

Cases Excepted from the Foregoing Rules 

1416. When it is known from sure and authentic docu 
ment, which cannot be contradicted or objected to, that a mar 
riage was made invalid by the impediments of disparity of cult, 
sacred orders, solemn vow of chastity, marriage bond (ligamen), 
consanguinity, affinity and spiritual relationship, and it is like 
wise absolutely certain that no dispensation from these impedi 
ments was obtained, in these cases the formalities mentioned thus 
far may be omitted and the Ordinary can declare the nullity of 
marriage after having summoned the parties and having given 
the defensor vinculi opportunity to examine into the case. 
(Canon 1990.) 

1417. Against the declaration of nullity the defensor vin 
culi may appeal to the higher court if for good reasons he believes 
that the impediments given in the preceding Canon are not cer 
tain, or that probably dispensation from them was obtained be 
fore marriage. If he appeals, the acts of the case are to be sent 
to the higher court, which should be reminded of the fact that this 
is a case excepted from the ordinary rules of canonical trial. 
(Canon 1991.) 

1418. The judge of the second instance shall, with the co 
operation of the defensor vinculi, examine whether the first sen 
tence should be confirmed, or whether the case should be decided 
in the regular form of canonical procedure; if his decision is in 
favor of a regular trial he shall return the case for trial to the 
judge of the first instance. (Canon 1992.) 



Cases Against Sacred Ordination. 

1419. Cases in which the obligations arising from sacred 
orders, or the validity itself of the sacred ordination, are at 
tacked, the petition must be sent to the S. Congregation of the 
Sacraments, or if the ordination is attacked on account of a sub 
stantial defect of the sacred rite, to the S. Congregation of the 
Holy Office ; the S. Congregation must decide whether the case is 
to be settled by judicial procedure in court, or in the disciplinary 

If the case is to be settled by legal procedure the S. Congre 
gation remands the case to the tribunal of the diocese which was 
the proper diocese of the cleric at the time of the ordination, or, if 
the ordination is attacked on account of a substantial defect in 
the sacred rite, to the tribunal of the diocese in which the ordina 
tion took place ; in case of appeal from the first sentence, the gen 
eral rules for the court of the second instance shall be observed. 
Canon 1594, treating of the court of second instance, rules: 
( 1 ) From the tribunal of a suffragan bishop appeal is to be made 
to the archbishop; (2) from cases judged in the first instance 
by an archiepiscopal court appeal is to be made to a bishop of an 
other diocese which the archbishop may once and for all choose 
with the approval of the Holy See; (3) from cases judged in the 
first instance by an archbishop who has no suffragans, or a bishop 
who is under the immediate jurisdiction of the Holy See, appeal 
is to be made to the archbishop chosen in the manner prescribed 
by Canon 285; (4) in exempt Religious Orders or congregations 
the superior general constitutes the court of the second instance 
for cases judged by the provincial; in cases judged by the abbot 
of a monastery, appeal may be made to the supreme head of the 
monastic Congregation to which the abbey belongs. 

If the case is to be decided in the disciplinary form, the S. 
Congregation itself settles the question, after a previous informa 
tive process instituted by the tribunal of the respective diocese. 
(Canon 1993.) 

1420. The validity of the sacred ordination may be at 
tacked by the cleric as well as the Ordinary to whom the cleric is 
subject, or the Ordinary in whose diocese the ordination took 

Only a cleric who believes that he did not contract the obli- 


gallons arising from sacred orders can petition for declaration 
of nullity of these obligations. (Canon 1994.) 

1421. All the rules laid down by the Canons in the first 
section of the fourth book of the Code, as well as the laws under 
the special title of matrimonial trials, must with due distinction 
also be observed in cases against sacred ordination. (Canon 

1422. The defensor vinculi of sacred ordination has the 
same rights and duties as the defensor matrimonii. (Canon 1996.) 

1423. Though action be instituted only over the obligations 
of sacred orders, and not against the validity of the ordination, 
the cleric must nevertheless be forbidden ad cautelam to exercise 
the sacred orders. (Canon 1997.) 

1424. In order that a cleric may be free from the obliga 
tions arising from ordination, two conformable sentences are 

In reference to appeal in these cases the laws of Canons 
1986-1989 on appeals of marriage cases shall be observed. 
(Canon 1998.) 





1425. (Canons 1999-2141.) The interesting details of 
procedure in the cases of beatification and canonization of the 
Servants of God contained in this section of the Code are setting 
forth the particulars of the proceeding, both as to the preparatory 
part which the diocesan Curia has in the trial as also the final 
judgment by the Sacred Congregation of Rites. 



1426. In the judicial proceedings spoken of below, a no 
tary shall always be employed who shall draw up the documents 
which have to be subscribed by all concerned, and which must 
be kept in the archives. (Canon 2142.) 


1427. Whenever monitions are prescribed, these must be 
made either orally, in the presence of the chancellor or another 
official of the Curia, or of two witnesses, or by letter in the man 
ner prescribed by Canon 1719. This Canon rules that in case 
the written summons cannot be handed by a courier to the per 
son called to court, on account of great distance or for other 
reasons, it may be transmitted by order of the judge through 
the public mail, provided the letter is registered and a return 
receipt signed by the party is secured, or in any other way which, 
according to the laws and conditions of countries, is considered 

The fact of the giving of the monition and an authentic 
copy of its contents is to be preserved in the acts of the case. 

He who prevents the monition from reaching himself is con 
sidered as though he received it. (Canon 2143.) 

1428. The examiners and consul tors and the notary must 
at the beginning of the proceedings take the oath to keep secrecy 
concerning all they will learn in virtue of their office, and espe 
cially about the secret documents, discussions held in the meet 
ing, and the number and motives of the votes. 

If they do not obey this law, they may not only be removed 
from office, but may also be punished by the Ordinary with 
fitting penalties, according to the requirements of law; and be 
sides they shall be obliged to repair any damage that may have 
been caused by their action. (Canon 2144.) 

1429. In these trials the summary form is to be followed, 
but it is not forbidden to have two or three witnesses testify who 
may be summoned either ex officio or at the request of the party, 
unless the Ordinary, after consultation with the parochial con- 
suitors or examiners, should come to the conclusion that the 
witnesses are proposed by the parties to unnecessarily delay the 

The witnesses and experts shall not be admitted to testify 
except they take the oath. (Canon 2145.) 

1430. From the definite sentence there is but one remedy 
which consists in recourse to the Holy See. 

In that case all the acts of the process are to be forwarded 
to the Holy See. 

Pending such recourse the Ordinary cannot validly confer 
permanently upon another the parish or benefice of which a 
cleric was deprived. (Canon 2146.) 



Manner of Procedure in the Removal of Irremovable 


1431. The pastor of an irremovable parish can be removed 
for a reason which makes his ministry harmful or inefficient, 
even apart from grave guilt on the part of the pastor. 

The principal causes for removal are as follows : 

1. ignorance, or habitual infirmity either bodily or men 
tal, which render the pastor incapable to properly attend to the 
duties of his office, if in the bishop s judgment the spiritual wel 
fare of the parish cannot be taken care of by appointment of a 
parochial vicar (Confer Canon 475); 

2. hatred by the people, though unjust and not universal, 
provided it be such as to impede the useful ministry of the pastor, 
and can be foreseen not to cease within a short time ; 

3. loss of good reputation among virtuous and prudent 
men, whether this arises from levity of conduct of the pastor, 
or from a former offence which has recently been detected, and 
which is exempt from penalty on account of prescription, or 
from the conduct of servants and blood relations with whom the 
pastors lived, unless by their removal the good reputation of the 
pastor can be restored ; 

4. a probable secret crime of which the pastor has been 
accused, from which the Ordinary may prudently judge that in 
future great scandal may come to the faithful; 

5. inefficient administration of the temporal goods with 
great damage to the church or benefice, whenever the evil can 
not be remedied either by depriving the pastor of the administra 
tion or in any other manner, though otherwise the pastor does 
usefully exercise the spiritual ministry. (Canon 2147.) 

1432. Whenever the Ordinary learns that according to his 
judgment a pastor has fallen into any of the cases of the fore 
going Canon, the Ordinary himself shall consult two of the dio 
cesan examiners and discuss with them the truth and gravity of 
the case, and after this invite the pastor, either in writing or 
orally, to tender resignation of his parish within a specified 
period of time, unless there is question of a pastor mentally 

The invitation to resign must contain the reason which 


prompts the Ordinary to take this step, and the arguments on 
which the charge is based, otherwise the proceeding is invalid. 
(Canon 2148.) 

1433. If the pastor does not resign within the specified 
time, nor ask for delay, nor attack the reasons of the charge 
made against him, and the Ordinary has made sure that the in 
vitation was properly issued and actually received by the pastor, 
and that the latter had no legal excuse for delaying an answer, 
the Ordinary shall at once remove him from the parish, without 
being held to the law of Canon 2154. 

If there is no certainty concerning the two points, namely, 
that the pastor has received the invitation, and that by his own 
fault he neglected to answer, the Ordinary shall either repeat 
the invitation to resign or prolong the time in which reply must 
be made. (Canon 2149.) 

1434. If the pastor resigns his parish the Ordinary shall 
declare the parish vacant. 

The pastor may instead of the reason stated by the Ordinary 
give another, less disagreeable and grave motive why he resigns, 
provided it be true and lawful, for instance, in order to comply 
with the wishes of the Ordinary. 

The resignation may be made not only purely and simply, 
but also under condition, provided the condition can be and ac 
tually is accepted by the Ordinary; the resignation to be valid 
must be made in writing or orally in presence of two witnesses, 
as demanded by Canon 186. (Canon 2150.) 

1435. The pastor who wishes to attack the reason for 
removal mentioned in the invitation, may ask for delay to fur 
nish proofs which respite the Ordinary may grant according to 
his own good judgment, provided it does not become detrimen 
tal to the spiritual welfare of the faithful. (Canon 2151.) 

1436. The Ordinary must discuss, approve or reject the 
reasons urged by the pastor against the invitation with the ex 
aminers mentioned in Canon 2148, 1, in order that the proceed 
ing may be valid. 

The decision, whether in the affirmative or negative, is to 
be made known to the pastor by a decree. (Canon 2152.) 

1437. The pastor may within ten days object to the decree 
of removal to the same Ordinary, who, in order to act validly 
must consult two of the parochial consultors and examine, ap- 


prove or reject the new arguments as well as those advanced 
by him in the first trial ; he must make his decision within ten 
days from the appeal. 

The pastor may, with the permission of the Ordinary, who 
must ask the advice of the parochial consultors on the matter, 
introduce witnesses whom he can prove he was unable to produce 
in the first trial. 

The decision is to be made known to the pastor by a decree. 
(Canon 2153.) 

1438. After a pastor has been removed, the Ordinary shall 
consult the diocesan examiners or the parochial consultors who 
took part in deciding the removal, what is to be done concerning 
the pastor. According to the circumstances of the case he may 
either be transferred to another parish, or assigned to some other 
office or benefice, if he is capable and deserving of such office, or 
be pensioned. 

All other things being equal, the pastor who resigns is to be 
more favored in the provision made for him than the pastor who 
is removed. (Canon 2154.) 

1439. The question of providing for the removed pastor 
may be settled by the Ordinary, either in the decree of removal 
or afterwards, but it should be done as soon as possible. (Canon 

1440. The priest who is removed from a parish must as 
soon as possible vacate the parochial residence and turn over to 
the new pastor, or to the economus appointed by the bishop, all 
goods belonging to the parish. 

If, however, the pastor should be sick and cannot be re 
moved without inconvenience, the Ordinary shall relinquish to 
him even the exclusive use of the house, for so long as he is in 
that condition. (Canon 2 156.) 


Manner of Procedure in Depriving Removable Pastors of 

Their Parish. 

1441. The movable pastor may be removed from his parish 
for a good and serious reason according to the law of Canon 


In reference to pastors belonging to religious communities 
the law of Canon 454, 5, shall be observed. (Canon 2157.) 

1442. If the Ordinary believes that there is present one 
of these reasons for removal, he shall paternally admonish and 
exhort the pastor to resign, indicating to him the reason why his 
parochial ministry is harmful to the faithful, or at least inefficient. 
(Canon 2158.) 

1443. If he does not answer within the specified days the 
law of Canon 2149 is to be enforced. If the pastor refuses to 
resign, he shall give his reasons in writing, which the Ordinary 
must consider with two of the diocesan examiners, in order to 
act validly. (Canon 2159.) 

1444. If the Ordinary after having heard the examiners 
does not judge the pastor s reasons legitimate, he shall repeat the 
admonition to resign threatening removal if the pastor should 
not of his own accord resign the parish within a suitable period 
of time to be fixed by the bishop. (Canon 2160.) 

1445. The specified period of time having elapsed, which 
may also be prolonged according to the good judgment of the 
bishop, he shall issue the decree of removal. 

The Ordinary shall provide for the removed pastor accord 
ing to the rules of Canons 2154-2156. (Canon 2161.) 


Manner of Procedure in the Transfer of Pastors. 

1446. If the good of souls necessitates the transfer to 
another parish of a pastor who administers his parish satisfac 
torily, the Ordinary shall invite and persuade the pastor to con 
sent to the change for the love of God and the welfare of souls. 
(Canon 2 162.) 

1447. The Ordinary cannot transfer an irremovable pastor 
against his will, unless he has obtained special faculties from the 
Holy See. 

A movable pastor, however, may also against his will be 
transferred, if the parish to which he is to be transferred is not 
too much inferior to his present parish, provided the following 
Canons are observed. (Canon 2163.) 

1448. If the pastor does not yield to the invitation and per- 


suasion of the Ordinary to accept another parish, he shall explain 
his reasons in writing. (Canon 2164.) 

1449. If the Ordinary, notwithstanding the reasons alleged 
by the pastor, should nevertheless desire to make the change, he 
must, in order to act validly, consult two of the parochial con- 
suitors on the reasons advanced by the pastor, and discuss with 
them the circumstances of the parish in which the pastor is sta 
tioned at present, and the parish to which he is to be transferred, 
and explain the reasons which make the transfer of the pastor 
either useful or necessary. (Canon 2165.) 

1450. If the Ordinary after having heard the parochial 
consultors should still want to make the change, he shall repeat 
the exhortations and admonish the pastor to heed the desire of 
his superior. (Canon 2166.) 

1451. If after all this the pastor still refuses to consent to 
the transfer, and the Ordinary still believes that the change 
should be made, he shall command the pastor to go to the other 
parish within a specified time, and indicate to him in writing that 
the present parish which he occupies shall be considered vacant 
ipso facto Q.t the expiration of the specified period of time. 

If this period has elapsed without result, he shall declare the 
parish vacant, ( Canon 2 1 67 . ) 


Manner of Procedure Against Clerics Not Observing the 
Law of Residence. 

1452. The pastor, canon, or other cleric, who neglect the 
law of residence to which they are bound by reason of their bene 
fice shall be admonished by the Ordinary and in the meantime, if 
there is question of a pastor, the bishop shall at the expense of 
the pastor provide that the welfare of souls does not suffer harm. 

In the monition the Ordinary shall remind such offenders 
of the penalties which clerics incur who do not keep residence, 
and that according to the law of Canon 188, n. 8, the benefice 
shall become vacant ipso facto if they do not obey the admoni 
tion; the bishop shall specify the period of time in which they 
must return to their residence. (Canon 2168.) 

1453. If the cleric does not resume his residence within 
the specified period of time, nor give reasons for his absence, he 


shall declare the parish or other benefice vacant in the manner 
prescribed by Canon 2149. (Canon 2169.) 

1454. If the cleric resumes his residence, and if his ab 
sence had been illegitimate, the Ordinary shall not only deprive 
him of the income of the benefice for the time of his absence, 
which he forfeits eo ipso in virtue of Canon 2381, but may, if 
the case calls for it, punish him with other penalties, in addition, 
according to the measure of his guilt. (Canon 2170.) 

1455. If the cleric does not resume his residence, but gives 
reasons for his absence, the Ordinary together with two of the 
diocesan examiners shall consider the matter, and, if necessary, 
investigate whether the reasons given are legitimate. (Canon 

1456. If after consultation with the examiners the Ordi 
nary judges that the reasons are not legitimate, he shall again 
give the cleric a specified period of time in which he is to return, 
saving always the privation of the income for the time of illegal 
absence. ( Canon 2 1 72. ) 

1457. If a movable pastor does not return within the pre 
scribed time, the Ordinary can at once proceed with the privation 
of the parish. If he returns, the Ordinary shall give him a com 
mand in writing not to again leave the parish without his per 
mission under penalty of privation of the parish to be incurred 
ipso facto. ( Canon 2 1 73. ) 

1458. If the cleric who has an irremovable benefice does 
not resume his residence, but offers new reasons for his absence, 
the Ordinary shall examine them together with the same exam 
iners in the manner specified in Canon 2171. 

If the bishop and the examiners do not think the reasons to 
be legitimate, the Ordinary shall without consideration of any 
further arguments command the cleric to return within the time 
first specified, or within a new term set by the bishop, under pen 
alty of privation of the benefice to be incurred ipso facto. 

If he does not return, the Ordinary shall declare him de 
prived of his benefice; if he returns, the Ordinary shall give him 
the precept mentioned in Canon 2173. (Canon 2174.) 

1459. In neither case shall the Ordinary declare the bene 
fice vacant until after he has discussed with the examiners the 
reasons for absenting himself offered by the cleric, and has made 


certain that the cleric could have asked the written permission 
of the bishop for leave of absence. (Canon 2175.) 


Manner of Procedure Against Clerics Living in Concubinage. 

1460. The cleric who, contrary to the law of Canon 133, 
keeps under his roof, or in any manner frequents, a woman of 
suspicious character shall be admonished by the Ordinary to send 
her away, or not to frequent her, threatening the penalties which 
Canon 2359 decrees against clerics living in concubinage. 
(Canon 2176.) 

1461. If the cleric does neither obey the precepts nor 
answer, the Ordinary after having ascertained that the cleric 
could have done so, shall: (1) suspend him a divinis; (2) if he 
is a pastor, deprive him at once of his parish in addition to the 
suspension; (3) deprive the cleric who holds a benefice without 
the care of souls, of one-half of the income of the benefice, if 
within two months from the suspension he did not amend ; after 
three more months of all the income of the benefice; after an 
other three months of the benefice itself. (Canon 2177.) 

1462. If the cleric does not obey, but adduces reasons of 
excuse, the Ordinary shall consult two of the examiners on those 
points. (Canon 2 178.) 

1463. If the Ordinary after consultation with the exam 
iners does not believe the proffered reasons to be legitimate, he 
shall as soon as possible inform the cleric of his judgment, and 
give him a formal precept to obey within a short time to be fixed 
by the bishop. (Canon 2179. 

1464. The Ordinary can alonce coerce a movable pastor 
who does not obey, by inflicting punishment according to Canon 
2177. If there is question of a cleric who holds an irremovable 
benefice, and who does not obey the bishop s orders in this mat 
ter, but offers new reasons for his conduct, the bishop shall sub 
ject these new allegations to the examination of the diocesan 
examiners according to the form of Canon 2178. (Canon 2180.) 

1465. If also these reasons are not recognized as legitimate, 
the Ordinary shall again command the cleric to obey within a 
suitable period of time; if this period has elapsed without the 
desired effect, he shall proceed according to the law of Canon 
2177. (Canon 2181.) 

340 THE .YEW C-4.YO.V 


Manner of Procedure Against a Pastor Who Is Negligent in 
the Fulfilment of the Pastoral Duties, 

1466. A pastor who seriously neglects or violates the 
parochial duties imposed by Canons 467. 1. 468, 1, 1330-1332, 
and 1344, shall be admonished by the bishop, who shall remind 
him of the strict obligation of conscience by which he is bound, 
and of the penalties which the law decrees against these offences. 
(Canon 2182.) 

1467. If the pastor does not amend, and the bishop after 
having consulted on the matter two of the diocesan examiners, 
and having given the pastor opportunity to defend himself should 
have found proof that the above mentioned parochial duties have 
again and again been neglected or violated for a considerable 
length of time, and in important mattes, without any just rea 
son, he shall rebuke the pastor and impose on him an appropriate 
penalty in proportion to his offence. (Canon 2183.) 

1468. If both the rebuke and the punishment brought no 
fruit, the Ordinary after having proved according to the norm of 
Canon 21 S3, the culpable perseverance in the neglect or violation 
of his pastoral duties in matters of importance, he can at once 
deprive the movable pastor of his parish: the immovable pastor,, 
however, shall be deprived of the income from the benefice either 
in whole or in part in proportion to the gravity of the guilt: the! 
income of which the pastor was deprived is to be distributed to 
the poor by the Ordinary. (Canon 2184.) 

1469. If the irremovable pastor persist in his sinful care 
lessness, and such has been proved in the manner prescribed by 
the foregoing Canons, the bishop can remove also die irremovable 
pastor. (Canon 2185.) 


Manner of Procedure for Infliction of the Suspension 
ex Informata Conscientia, 

1470. The Ordinaries may punish their subject clerics t* 
iftformdf j cc*scit**tia either by a complete or a partial suspension. 

The Ordinary is not allowed to make use of this extraor 
dinary means of procedure except in a case where he could nod 


without great inconvenience proceed against a subject in the ordi 
nary course of law. (Canon 2186.) 

1471. In order to issue this suspension neither the form 
of a judicial trial is required nor canonical monitions, it suffices 
that the Ordinary in compliance with the following Canons issue 
a decree in which he simply declares that he inflicts the suspen 
sion. (Canon 2187.) 

1472. This decree is to be given in writing, unless the cir 
cumstances demand otherwise, in which document, besides day, 
month, and year in which it is issued, shall be indicated the fol 
lowing: (1) it shall be explicitly stated that the suspension is 
inflicted c.r informata consrieniia, that is to say, for reasons 
known to the Ordinary; (2) the time of duration of the penalty 
shall be indicated ; the Ordinary should abstain from inflicting a 
perpetual suspension. It may, however, be inflicted also as 
a censure, provided that in such case the cleric is advised of the 
reason why the suspension is inflicted on him; (3) the acts which 
are forbidden, if it is not a total, but only a partial suspension, 
must be clearly specified. (Canon 2188.) 

1473. If the cleric is suspended from an office for which 
some one else has to be substituted, as for instance, the priest 
who takes the suspended pastor s place in the care of souls, the 
substitute shall receive such compensation from the revenue of 
the benefice as the Ordinary shall by his own good judgment 

The cleric who thinks that the substitute receives too much 
of the revenue of the benefice, to the detriment to his own in 
come, may apply for a reduction to the immediate superior who 
would be the judge of appeal in the regular canonical trial. 
(Canon 2189.) 

1474. The Ordinary who inflicts a suspension ex informata 
conscicntia must have by previous investigations collected such 
proofs that give him certainty that the cleric did actually commit 
an offence serious enough to be punished with such a penalty. 
(Canon 2190.) 

1475. An occult offence, as described in Canon 2197, n. 4, 
furnishes a just and legitimate cause to inflict the suspension 
ex informata conscientia. 

A notorious offence cannot be punished by suspension ex 
informata conscicntia. 


If a public offence is to be punished by suspension ex in- 
formata conscientia, it is necessary that one of the following 
circumstances occur: (1) if conscientious and serious minded 
witnesses do indeed make known to the Ordinary an offence 
which was committed, but cannot in any way be induced to tes 
tify in court to the crime, and there is no other way open to 
convict the offender in a judicial trial; (2) if the cleric himself, 
by threats, and the use of other means, prevents the canonical 
trial from starting, or, if started, from progressing; (3) if an 
impediment to the prosecution of the canonical trial or to the 
issue of the sentence arises from adverse civil laws, or from fear 
of great scandal. (Canon 2191.) 

1476. The suspension ex informata conscientia is valid if 
of several offences one only is occult. (Canon 2192.) 

1477. It is left to the prudent judgment of the Ordinary 
to make known or to conceal to the cleric the cause or offence 
for which the suspension is inflicted, but if he thinks it well to 
make known the reason, he should do so with pastoral solicitude 
and charity, so that the penalty accompanied with paternal ad 
monition may serve not only for the satisfaction of the guilt, 
but also bring about the amendment of the offender, and serve 
to eliminate the occasion of sin. (Canon 2193.) 

1478. If the cleric has recourse to the Holy See against 
the suspension inflicted on him, the Ordinary must forward to 
the Holy See the proofs from which it is made certain that the 
cleric has really committed an offence which can be punished 
by this extraordinary penalty, (Canon 2194.) 


Offences and Penalties 



Nature and Division of Offences. 

"*%- *S(* 

1479. By the generic name of delictum there is in eccle 
siastical law meant an external and morally sinful violation of a 
law to which is attached a canonical sanction or penalty, at least 

What is said concerning the violation of a law applies equally 
to the violation of precepts to which a penalty has been attached, 
unless the contrary is apparent from the circumstances. (Canon 

1480. The nature of an offence is to be judged from the 
subject matter of the law. The greater or lesser culpability 
depends not only on the gravity of the law which is violated, but 
also on the degree of sinfulness of the action and the harm 
caused. (Canon 2196.) 

1481. An offence is called: 

1. Public, if it actually has been divulged or circumstances 
are such that it easily can and must become public ; 

2. Notorious, by notoriety of the law, after the sentence of 
a competent judge has become a res judicata, that is to say, a 
sentence from which there is no appeal, or after a confession 
made in court in presence of the judge ; 

3. Notorious by notoriety of fact, if the offence is publicly 
known and has been committed under such circumstances that 
it cannot be kept secret by any artifice, nor can be excused by 
any subterfuge of law; 

4. Occult, which is not public; occult materialiter, if the 
crime itself is not known; occult formaliter, if the person to 
whom it is to be imputed is not known. (Canon 2197.) 

1482. An offence which solely violates a law of the Church 



is by its very nature subject only to punishment by the ecclesias 
tical authority, which may at times ask the assistance of the 
civil power when it judges such help necessary or opportune. An 
offence which violates solely a law of the civil authority is pun 
ished by the civil authority by its own right, saving the exception 
of Canon 120, though also the Church is competent to judge it 
by reason of the sin ; the offence which violates the law of either 
society, can be punished by both. (Canon 2198.) 


Imputability of an Offence, Causes Which Aggravate or 
Diminish It, and Juridical Effects of an Offence. 


1483. The imputability or responsibility of an offence de 
pends on the evil intention of the delinquent, or on the amount of 
guilt in his ignorance of the law which he broke, or in the omis 
sion of due diligence. Wherefore all causes which increase, 
diminish or take away, deliberate evil will and sinfulness, do also 
eo ipso increase, diminish or take away, imputability or responsi 
bility. (Canon 2199.) 

1484. By the term dolns is understood here the deliberate 
will to violate the law, to which is opposed, on the part of the 
mind, defect of knowledge, and, on the part of the will, the want 
of liberty. 

Whenever the law is violated by external action, the delib 
erate will is presumed in the external forum, until the contrary is 
proved. ( Canon 2200. ) 

1485. Incapable of committing an offence are those who 
do not enjoy the use of reason. 

Habitually insane persons, though they have at times lucid 
moments, or seem to be sane in certain ways of reasoning and 
acting, are nevertheless presumed incapable of an offence. 

An offence committed in voluntary drunkenness is somewhat 
responsible, but in a lesser degree than if the same offence is com 
mitted by a person fully in control of his senses, unless drunken 
ness was sought deliberately for the purpose of committing the 
crime, or to excuse it. If the law has been violated in involun 
tary drunkenness, there is no responsibility at all if the intoxica 
tion deprived the person altogether of the use of reason; respon 
sibility is diminished if the use of reason was only partially 


impaired. The same is to be said of other, similar disturbances of 
the mind. 

Debility of mind diminishes the responsibility of an offence 
but does not take it away altogether. (Canon 2201.) 

1486. The violation of a law of which one was ignorant 
is not put to one s account if the ignorance was inculpable; other 
wise the responsibility is more or less diminished in proportion 
to the amount of the sin fulness of the ignorance. 

Ignorance of the penalty only attached to the violation of a 
law does not take away the responsibility for the offence, but 
diminishes it somewhat. 

What is said of ignorance holds good also in reference to 
inadvertence and error. (Canon 2202.) (Cf. Canon 2229.) 

1487. If a person violates a law by the omission of due 
diligence, the responsibility is diminished in a degree to be 
measured by the good judgment of the ecclesiastical judge ac 
cording to the circumstances of the case. If the offender fore 
saw the occurrence and nevertheless neglected to use such pre 
cautions as any prudent man would have used, the guilt is next 
to wilful violation of the law. 

An accidental case which could not be foreseen, or, if fore 
seen, could not be avoided, is free from all responsibility. 
(Canon 2203.) 

1488. Minor age, unless the contrary is apparent, dimin 
ishes the responsibility, all the more so the nearer it approaches 
infancy. (Canon 2204.) 

1489. Physical violence which robs a person of all free 
dom of action excludes all idea of crime. 

Grave fear, even relatively such, necessity and also great 
inconvenience, excuse as a rule from all guilt, if there is question 
of purely ecclesiastical laws. 

If, however, the act is intrinsically evil, or involves contempt 
of faith or of ecclesiastical authority, or the harm of souls, the 
circumstances spoken of in the preceding paragraph do indeed 
diminish the responsibility but do not take it away. 

The case of legitimate self-defence against an unjust aggres 
sor, with due precaution not to injure the aggressor more than 
necessary for self protection, excuses from all guilt; otherwise 
the responsibility is only diminished, as is the case also where 
provocation entices a person to do wrong. (Canon 2205.) 


1490. Passion, when voluntarily and deliberately excited 
or nourished, does rather increase the responsibility ; otherwise it 
diminishes the guilt more or less in proportion to the vehemence 
of the passion; it may also take away all responsibility if the 
passion rises suddenly and with such intensity as to exclude re 
flection and consent of the will or to impede free consent. 
(Canon 2206.) 

1491. Besides other aggravating circumstances, the guilt is 
increased: (1) By the greater dignity of the person who commits 
an offence, or against whom the crime is committed; (2) by the 
abuse of authority or of an office for the commission of an 
offence. (Canon 2207.) 

1492. A recidwu-s in the terminology of law denotes a per 
son who again commits an offence of the same kind for which 
he had been condemned previously, and under such circum 
stances and at such a time that his obstinacy in evil intention may 
with good reasons be conjectured from his actions. 

He who offends several times, though in various kinds of 
violations, increases his responsibility. (Canon 2208.) 

1493. Those who agree to cooperate in the same offence by 
united physical action are all held guilty in the same degree, un 
less the circumstances increase or diminish the culpability of one 
or the other. 

In an offence which of its very nature requires an accom 
plice, both parties are held equally guilty, unless the circum 
stances prove .he contrary. 

Not only the one who orders the commission of an offence, 
and who is therefore the principal author of the crime, but also 
all who induce another or help him in any way to commit the 
crime, are cetcris paribus contracting the same guilt as the 
executor of the misdeed himself, if the deed would not have been 
committed without their cooperation. 

If their cooperation, however, only facilitated the misdeed 
which would have been committed even without their help, it is 
less sinful. 

He who ceased to cooperate in the crime by timely with 
drawal from all participation is freed from all responsibility, 
though, for reasons of his own, the executor of the misdeed per 
petrated the crime; if he did not completely withdraw his in 
fluence, his retraction diminishes but does not take away respon 
sibility altogether. 


He who cooperates in a crime merely by neglect of his duty 
is held responsible to a degree proportionate to his obligation of 
preventing the crime. 

Praise of the accomplishment of a crime, participation in its 
fruits, receiving or concealing the delinquent, and other actions 
following after the crime has been fully completed, may constitute 
new crimes, namely if these actions are punished in law by 
penalties, but, unless they had made an agreement with the 
offender about these actions before he committed the crime, they 
do not import responsibility for the crime. (Canon 2209.) 

1494. From the commission of a crime follows : 

1. the penal action, either for the declaration or the inflic 
tion of the penalty and the petition for satisfaction; 

2. the civil action, for reparation of damages, if the crime 
caused losses to anyone. 

Both actions are to be instituted in court according to the 
rules of Canons 1552-1959; the same judge who handles the 
criminal cause may also, at the instance of the party that suffered 
damages, examine into and give sentence in the civil action. 
(Canon 22 10.) 

1495. All persons who cooperate in a crime in the manner 
described in Canon 2209, 1-3, are individually held to pay the 
expenses and repair the damages done to other persons by the 
crime, though the judge should have condemned them nly to a 
portion of the expenses and damages. If, therefore, some of the 
cooperators cannot, or do not, contribute their share the others 
are held for all expenses and damages. (Canon 2211.$ 


Attempted Crime. 

1496. He who places an action, or omits an actien, which 
of its very nature leads to the execution of a crime, but does 
not complete the act either because he changed his mind or was 
not successful in the execution of the crime on account f insuffi 
cient or inadequate means, is said to be guilty of attempted crime. 

If all actions were placed or omitted which naturafly lead to 
the execution of a crime and would have sufficed to perpetrate it, 
but, on account of other causes that interfered against the will 
of the intended criminal, he did not accomplish the crime, it is 
properly called -frustrated crime. 


The person who induces another to commit a crime, but 
does not succeed, is nearly as wicked as a person guilty of at 
tempted crime. 

Attempted crime that is punished in law with a special 
penalty, constitutes a real crime. (Canon 2212.) 

1497. Attempted crime is sinful to a greater or lesser 
degree in proportion to its greater or lesser proximity to the 
accomplishment of the crime, though always less sinful than a 
committed crime. 

Frustrated crime is more sinful than merely attempted 

He who of his own accord desisted from the execution of 
a crime which he had started to commit is free from all respon 
sibility if no damage was caused nor scandal given. (Canon 
2213.) The Canon speaks, of course, of responsibility in the 
external forum or the courts of law, and not of the interior 
sinful acts of the will, which might in such case be a very serious 
sin of internal consent, and of will to do a forbidden action. 



Penalties in General. 

1498. It is the innate and proper right of the Church, inde 
pendently of any human authority to punish her guilty subjects, 
with both spiritual and temporal penalties. 

The admonition of the Council of Trent (session XIII, de 
ref. cap. 1 ) to the bishops and other Ordinaries is here repeated, 
from which it is evident that the Church does not favor the 
hasty and rash use of extreme penalties and censures but reminds 
the bishops to consider their subjects as children and brethren, 
and to try as long as possible, by patience and kindness, to 
influence them to strive after virtue and to desist from vice. 
(Canon 2214.) 


Definition, Species, Interpretation and Application of 


1499. An ecclesiastical penalty is the privation of some 
good, inflicted by the legitimate authority on the delinquent for 


his correction and for punishment of the offence. (Canon 

1500. There are three kinds of penalties in the Church: 
(1) The so-called corrective punishments or censures; (2) puni 
tive penalties ; (3) penal remedies and penances. (Canon 2216.) 

1501. A penalty is called: 

1. Determined, when the precise nature of it is specified 
in a law or precept; undetermined, if the law, in either perceptive 
or facultative terms, leaves the determination of the penalty to 
the good judgment of judge or superior; 

2. Latae sententiae, if a specified penalty is attached to a 
law or a precept in such a manner that it is incurred by the very 
commission of the crime; ferendae sententiae, if the judge or 
superior is instructed to inflict a certain penalty; 

3. A jure, if the penalty is specified in the law itself, as 
either latae or ferendae sententiae; ab homine, if a penalty is 
inflicted by means of a special precept or condemnatory sentence 
of a judge, though the punishment is prescribed in law ; where 
fore a penalty ferendae sententiae attached to a law is a jure 
tantum before the condemnatory sentence, after the sentence it 
is both a jure and ab homine but is considered as ab homine. 

A penalty is always understood to be ferendae sententiae, 
unless the law explicitly states that it is latae sententiae, or that 
it is incurred ipso facto, or ipso jure, or if other similar terms are 
employed. (Canon 2217.) 

1502. In the infliction of penalties the punishment must be 
in just proportion to the offence, having due regard to the 
amount of responsibility, scandal and damage; wherefore atten 
tion is to be paid not only to the subject matter of the law and 
its gravity, but also to the age, knowledge, education, sex, state of 
life, and the condition of mind, of the delinquent, to the dignity 
of the person against whom the crime is committed, or who com 
mitted the offence, to the purpose intended, the place and time and 
where and when the offence was committed, whether the offender 
acted under the impulse of passion or out of grave fear, whether 
he repented of his misdeed and tried himself to prevent its evil 
consequences, and other similar circumstances. 

Circumstances which excuse from all sin, and also those 
excusing from mortal sin, do likewise excuse from incurring any 
penalty whether latae or ferendae sententiae; the excuse holds 


also in the external forum if the mitigating circumstances can be 

Mutual injury is considered a compensation, so that neither 
party can ask for reparation, unless one party deserves con 
demnation on account of having done greater injury to the 
other, in which case the penalty is to be milder than in a case 
where there was no mutual injury. (Canon 2218.) 

1503. In penalties the milder interpretation is to be applied. 
If it is doubtful whether a penalty inflicted by a superior 

is just, the punishment must nevertheless be accepted, both for 
the internal and the external forum, except in cases of appeal in 

Penalties are not to be extended from person to person, or 
from case to case, though there is the same or even a greater 
reason, unless several persons participated in a crime in a man 
ner that each one s cooperation was necessary to accomplish the 
crime (cf. Canons 2231 and 2209, 1-3). (Canon 2219.) 

Superiors Having Coercive Power. 

1504. Superiors who have the power to make laws or 
impose precepts, can also attach penalties to the law or precept. 
Persons who possess judicial power only, can do no more than 
apply the penalties legally prescribed, in the manner demanded 
by law. 

The vicar general without a special mandate has no power 
to inflict penalties. (Canon 2220.) 

1505. Those who have legislative power can, within the 
limits of their jurisdiction, attach a penalty or increase the pun 
ishment fixed by law, not only in their own and their predeces 
sors laws, but also, for reason of peculiar circumstances, in the 
Divine as well as the ecclesiastical laws of a higher superior in 
force in the territory of the inferior authority. (Canon 2221.) 
Cf. exception to this law in reference to papal censures in 
Canon 2247. 

1506. Though the law may not have any sanction attached 
to it the lawful ecclesiastical superior can punish the trans 
gression of the law with some just penalty, even without first 
threatening with punishment, if perhaps scandal was given or 


the special gravity of the transgression calls for it. Otherwise 
the offender cannot be punished except he has been first admon 
ished and been threatened with the penalty of either latce or 
ferendcr sententice in case of transgression, but nevertheless vio 
lated the law. 

In a case where the perpetration of an offence is only prob 
able, or while the crime is certain it is doubtful whether the penal 
action against that crime has been prescribed by lapse of time, 
the legitimate superior has not only the right, but also the duty 
not to promote a cleric of whose fitness he is not certain, and 
for the sake of avoiding scandal, to prohibit a cleric from the 
exercise of the sacred ministry, or also to remove him from 
office, according to the norms of law; but all this has not the 
nature of a penalty in this case. (Canon 2222.) 

1507. In the application of the penalty the judge cannot 
augment the penalty specified in law, unless extraordinary aggra 
vating circumstances demand it. 

If the law in stating a penalty ferendce sent entice uses op 
tional terms, it is left to the good judgment and conscience of 
the judge to inflict it, or, if the penalty is specified, to mitigate it. 

If the law uses terms importing a precept, the penalty must 
ordinarily be inflicted, but it is left to the conscience and good 
judgment of the judge, or the superior, ( 1 ) to defer the applica 
tion of the penalty to a more opportune time, if by hasty punish 
ment of the offender greater evils can be foreseen to follow; 
(2) to abstain from inflicting the penalty if the offender has 
amended entirely, and has repaired the scandal, or has been, or 
will be, sufficiently punished by the penalties decred by the law 
of the civil authority; (3) to mitigate the specified penalty, or 
in its place to employ one of the penal remedies, or to impose 
some penance, if there is a circumstance which notably dimin 
ishes the guilt, or, though the offender has either amended or 
has been punished by civil authority, the judge or the superior 
do nevertheless think it proper to impose some mild punishment. 

As a rule, it is left to the good judgment of the superior to 
declare a penalty latce sententice; but, either at the instance of 
the party interested, or when the public weal demands it, the 
declaratory sentence must be issued. (Canon 2223.) 

1508. Generally speaking there are as many penalties as 
there are offences. 


If, however, on account of the great number of offences 
there would be too great an accumulation of penalties to be 
inflicted, it is left to the good judgment of the judge either to 
impose the severest of the penalties, together with some penance 
or penal remedy, or to moderate the penalties within the limits 
of equity and with due regard to the number and gravity of the 

If there is a penalty fixed for the attempted crime as well 
as for the consummated crime, and the crime has been accom 
plished, the penalty for consummated crime only should be 
imposed. (Canon 2224.) 

1509. If the declaration or infliction of the penalty is 
pronounced by judicial sentence, the laws of the Canons in refer 
ence to the pronouncement of judicial sentences are to be ob 
served; if, however, the penalty of either latce or ferenda 
sententia is inflicted by way of special precept, the declaration 
or infliction of the penalty should ordinarily be done either in 
writing or in the presence of two witnesses; Canon 2193 is also 
to be observed, (Canon 2225.) 

Persons Subject to the Coercive Power. 

1510. Persons held to a law or precept to which a penalty 
is attached, are subject to the penalty, unless they are explicitly 

Though a more recent penal law abrogates a former law, 
the milder of the two penalties is to be imposed in the case 
where the offence had already been committed when the more 
recent law was enacted. 

If the more recent law abolishes either the former law itself 
or only the penalty attached to it, the penalty ceases immediately 
though the law had been violated while the penalty was still in 
force; a censure, however, which had been incurred does not 
cease with the change of the law, but requires absolution. 

The penalty binds the offender everywhere, and also after 
the superior inflicting the same has passed out of office, unless 
the contrary is explicitly stated. (Canon 2226.) 

1511. The Roman Pontiff only can declare a penalty 
against, or inflict it on, the persons mentioned in Canon 1557, 


1, namely, the supreme heads of nations and their children, 
Cardinals, Legates of the Holy See and bishops in criminal cases. 
Cardinals do not incur penalties unless they are explicitly 
mentioned, and the same applies to bishops in reference to sus 
pensions and interdicts lat<z sententia. (Canon 2227.) 

1512. The penalty attached to a law is not incurred unless 
the offence committed is complete in its kind, according to the 
proper meaning of the terms of the law. (Canon 2228.) 

1513. Affected ignorance of either the law, or of its 
penalty only, does not excuse from any penalties latce sententice, 
though the law contains the terms mentioned in the following 

If the law has these words: prasumpserit, ausus fuerit, 
scienter, studiose, temerarie, consulto egerit, and other sim 
ilar terms which demand full knowledge and deliberation, any 
diminution of responsibility, either on the part of the intellect 
or on the part of the will, exempt from the penalties latce 

If the law does not have these terms : 

1. the ignorantia crassa vel supina of the law, or of the 
penalty only, does not exempt from any penalty later sententice; 
if it is not crassa or supina, it excuses from the so-called correc 
tive penalties or censures, not, however, from the punitive penal 
ties lattz sententice (Cf. Canon 2202); 

2. drunkenness, omission of due diligence, debility of 
mind, impulse of passion, to a degree that diminishes the respon 
sibility, but not enough to excuse from mortal sin, do not exempt 
from incurring penalties latae sententiae; 

3. grave fear does not by any means excuse from penal 
ties latae sententiae, if the offence tends to contempt of the faith, 
or of the ecclesiastical authority, or to public injury of the 
spiritual welfare of the faithful. 

Though the offender is excused from the penalty by reason 
of ignorance which was not crassa or supina, he may neverthe 
less, if the case demands it, be punished with some other appro 
priate penalty or penance. (Canon 2229.) 

1514. Children who have not attained the age of puberty 
are excused from the penalties latae sententiae, and they should 
be punished with disciplinary chastisement rather than by cen 
sures and other more serious, punitive penalties. Adults who 


induced a child to break a law, or who cooperated with one 
in the offence in the manner described in Canon 2209, 1-3, 
shall incur the penalty fixed by law. ( Canon 2230. ) 

1515. If several persons concurred in the perpetration of 
a crime, though the law speaks of only one person, all the co- 
operators mentioned in Canon 2209, 1-3, shall be held to the 
same penalty, unless the law explicitly states the contrary; other 
cooperators, however, shall not incur the same penalty, but shall 
be punished by some other just penalty, according to the good 
judgment of the superior, unless the law provides a special 
penalty for them. (Canon 2231.) 

1516. The penalty latae sententiae, whether corrective or 
punitive, ipso facto binds the offender who is conscious of his 
offence, both in the external and internal forum; before a de 
claratory sentence has been issued against the offender he is 
excused from the observance of the penalty whenever he cannot 
observe it without loss of good repute, and in the external forum 
observance of the penalty cannot be demanded of the offender 
by any one unless the offence is notorious. It is left to the good 
judgment of the superior to issue the declaration that an offender 
has incurred the penalty specified in law; if the public welfare 
demands the declaration, or the offender is accused by the party 
who suffered from the offence, the superior or judge are obliged 
to issue the declaration. 

By the declaratory sentence the penalty takes effect from 
the very moment in which the offence was committed. (Canon 

1517. No penalty can be inflicted unless it is certain that 
the offence was committed, and that legitimate prescription has 
not entered against it. 

Though this be certain, a censure should not be inflicted 
on the offender at once, but he should be reprimanded and ad 
monished to recede from his obstinacy, in the form prescribed 
by Canon 2242, 3, if the case in the good judgment of the 
superior or the judge allows delay, and an appropriate space of 
time should be fixed for his repentance; if he remains obstinate, 
a censure may be inflicted. (Canon 2233.) 

1518. He who has committed several offences shall not 
only be punished more severely, but may also, if the judge thinks 


this necessary, be subjected to surveillance or other penal remedy. 
(Canon 2234.) 

1519. Frustrated and attempted crime, unless punished in 
law as distinct offences, may be punished with some suitable pen 
alty in proportion to the amount of guilt; Canon 2213, 3, ex 
plains the case in which no penalty is to be inflicted on attempted 
crime, (Canon 2235.) 


Pardon of Penalties. 

1520. The pardon from penalties, either by absolution 
when there is question of censures, or by dispensation if they 
are punitive punishments, can be granted only by him who 
imposed the penalty or his competent superior, or successor, or a 
person with delegated faculty. 

He who can grant exemption from the law, can also pardon 
from the penalty attached to the law. 

The judge who, in virtue of his office applies a penalty which 
has been established by the superior, cannot pardon from the 
penalty after he has imposed it. (Canon 2236.) 

1521. In public cases the Ordinary can remit the penalties 
latae sententiae of the common law with the exception (1) of 
cases brought to court for trial; (2) of censures reserved to the 
Holy See; (3) of penalties importing inhability to benefices, 
offices, dignities, positions in the Church, active and passive vote, 
and privation of them, perpetual suspension, infamy of law, pri 
vation of the right of patronage and of a privilege or favor which 
had been conceded by the Apostolic See. 

In occult cases, besides the faculties given under certain 
circumstances to every priest by Canons 2254 and 2290, the 
Ordinary can pardon from the penalties latae sententiae of the 
common law, and delegate to others the same power ; he may not, 
however, absolve from a censure reserved to the Holy See spe- 
cialissimo or speciali modo. (Canon 2237.) 

1522. A pardon from penalty which has been extorted by 
violence or grave fear is invalid by law. (Canon 2238.) 

1523. A pardon from penalties may be granted to one who 
is present as well as absent, the pardon may be absolute or con- 
Jditional, for the external forum or for the internal only; if 


granted in the external forum, it is valid also in the internal, 
but the pardon in the internal forum does not per se hold in the 
external forum. 

Though a penalty may be remitted orally, it is nevertheless 
proper to grant pardon in writing, if the penalty was inflicted by 
written order. (Canon 2239.) 

1524. In reference to the prescription of penal actions, 
Canon 1703 is to be observed, which Canon ordains that, with 
the exception of cases subject to the jurisdiction of the Holy 
Office, the time for instituting criminal action against an offender 
is limited to three years unless there is question: (1) of injuries, 
which action expires within one year; (2) of offences against 
the Sixth and Seventh Commandments of the decalogue, which 
expire within five years; (3) of simony and homicide which 
expire after ten years, (Canon 2240.) 



Corrective Penalties or Censures. 


Censures in General. 

1525. A censure is a penalty by which a subject (by Bap 
tism) of the Church is deprived of some spiritual benefits, or 
of benefits connected with matters spiritual, because of obstinate 
violation of some law of the Church, until such time as he re 
pents and obtains absolution. 

Censures, and especially excommunication, incurred by the 
very commission of a crime (latae sententiae), should be in 
flicted rarely and with great prudence. (Canon 2241.) 

1526. Only those external criminal actions that are mortal 
sins, complete, and committed with obstinacy, should be pun 
ished by censures. A censure may be visited also on delinquents 
whose identity is unknown. 

When there is question of censures ferendae sententiae, a 
person is considered contumacious who does not desist from the 


crime, or refuses to do penance and to repair the injury done, or 
the scandal given, by the crime, after having received the canon 
ical admonitions described in Canon 2233, 2. A censure latae 
sententiae is incurred by the very transgression of the law or 
precept to which the censure is attached, unless the guilty person 
is excused from the penalty by a reason admitted in law. 

A person is considered to have ceased to be contumacious 
when he has sincerely repented of his crime, and has made con 
dign satisfaction for the injury and scandal caused, or has at 
least earnestly promised to do so. Judgment as to the sincerity 
of the repentance, or the sufficiency of the satisfaction, or the 
sincerity of the promise, rests with the one from whom absolu 
tion is asked. (Canon 2242.) 

1527. Censures inflicted by a sentence in court import their 
execution as soon as they have been pronounced, and an appeal 
in devolutivo only is granted; likewise from censures inflicted 
by way of precept appeal in devolutivo only is permitted. In both 
cases, therefore, the censured cleric must conform to the censure 
during the time in which he has recourse to a higher superior. 

Appeal or recourse from the judicial sentence, or from a 
precept which threatens censures latae sententiae, but which have 
not yet been contracted, does not suspend either the sentence or 
precept, nor the censures, if there is question of matters in which 
the law does not admit appeal or recourse with suspensive effect ; 
if the law grants appeal in suspensivo, the censures threatened 
by the court, or the precept of the superior, are suspended, but 
the obligation remains to observe what has been commanded by 
the court or the precept, unless the offender interposes appeal 
or recourse not only from the penalty but from the very sentence 
or precept. (Canon 2243.) 

1528. Censures may be multiplied in one and the same 
subject, not only such of different species but also of the same 

Censures latae sententiae are multiplied in the following 
manner: (1) if various crimes, to each of which a censure is 
attached, are committed, either by the same or by distinct actions ; 

(2) if the same crime to which a censure is attached is committed 
repeatedly, in such manner that there are several distinct crimes ; 

(3) if the same crime is punished with different censures by sev 
eral superiors, and is committed once or repeatedly. 

A censure inflicted ab homine is multiplied if there are sev- 


eral precepts, or several sentences, or various distinct parts to the 
same precept or sentence, to each of which a censure is attached. 
(Canon 2244.) 

1529. Some censures are reserved and others are not. 

A censure inflicted ab homine, that is, by precept of a superior 
or by sentence in an ecclesiastical court, is reserved to the one 
imposing the censure or giving the sentence, or to his superior, his 
successor in office, or his delegate. Among the censures reserved 
a jure, that is by law, some are reserved to the Ordinary, others 
to the Holy See. 

Those reserved to the Holy See are subdivided into three 
classes, simpliciter, speciali, and specialissimo modo reserved. 

A censure incurred by the very fact of committing a crime 
(latae sententiae) is not reserved, unless the law or the precept 
explicitly states that it is. In case of doubt concerning the law 
itself (dubium juris) as well as in a doubt about the fact (dubium 
facti) the reservation does not hold. (Canon 2245.) 

1530. A censure should not be reserved unless the peculiar 
gravity of the crime, and the necessity of maintaining ecclesiasti 
cal discipline and the morals of the faithful, demand the reserva 

Reservation is to be interpreted strictly. 

The reservation of a censure which prevents the reception 
of the Sacraments as, for instance, excommunication implies 
the reservation of the sin, to which the censure is attached. If a 
person, however, is excused from the censure, or has been ab 
solved from it outside confession, by a superior having jurisdic 
tion in the external forum, the reservation of the sin ceases alto 
gether. (Canon 2246.) 

1531. If the censure is reserved to the Holy See, the Ordi 
nary cannot attach to the same crime another censure, reserved 
to himself. 

Reservation of a censure in some particular territory does 
not have any force outside the limits of that territory, even if 
the person who incurred the censure goes outside the territory 
precisely for the purpose of obtaining absolution. The censure 
ab homine, however, is reserved everywhere, so that the censured 
person cannot be absolved anywhere without due faculties. 

If the confessor, in ignorance of the reservation, has ab- 


solved a penitent from the censure and the sin, the absolution 
from the censure is valid except in the case of censures reserved 
to the Holy See specialissimo modo, and of censures imposed by 
a precept of a superior, or by a sentence in an ecclesiastical court. 
(Canon 2247.) 

1532. Any censure once contracted cannot be removed ex 
cept by legitimate absolution. 

Absolution should not be denied whenever the offender 
ceases to be obstinate, as explained in Canon 2242, 3 ; the one 
who absolves from the censure may, if the case demands it, 
impose an appropriate punitive penalty, or a penance, for the 
crime which had been committed. 

If a censure has been removed by absolution, it does not 
revive except in a case where the penance or other obligation 
that had been imposed under express condition of relapse into 
the censure, has not been performed. (Canon 2248.) 

1533. If a person has incurred several censures, he may 
be absolved from one while the others remain. 

He who asks for absolution must indicate all cases from 
which he wants to be absolved, otherwise the absolution is valid 
only for the case he mentioned; if, however, the absolution was 
general, even though the petition referred to one particular case 
only, it is valid also for those cases which were concealed in good 
faith, with the exception of censures reserved to the Holy See 
specialissimo modo, but it does not avail for those concealed in 
bad faith. (Canon 2249.) 

1534. In a censure that does not forbid the reception of 
the Sacraments as, for example, suspension the person, if 
otherwise well disposed, can be absolved from the sin while the 
censure remains. 

If there is question, however, of a censure which forbids 
the reception of the Sacraments, the censured person cannot be 
absolved from the sins until he has first been absolved from the 

The absolution from censure in the Sacramental forum is 
included in the usual form prescribed in the ritualistic books for 
the absolution from sins ; in the non-Sacramental forum absolu 
tion from a censure may be given in any form, but for the 
absolution from excommunication it is appropriate to use, as a 
rule, the formula contained in those same books. (Canon 2250.) 


1535. If the absolution from a censure is given in the 
external forum, it holds good for both the external and the inter 
nal forum; if it was given in the internal forum the person who 
obtained such absolution may, if scandal is removed, conduct 
himself also in actions of the external forum as absolved, but, 
unless the absolution is proved in the external forum or lawfully 
presumed, the censure may be urged by the superior having 
jurisdiction in the external forum until absolution has been 
granted in the external forum, and the censured person must 
obey. (Canon 2251.) 

1536. In danger of death any priest can absolve from all 
censures; but in two of these, namely, those reserved to the 
Holy See specialissimo modo, and those imposed by precept or 
by sentence in an ecclesiastical court, the person after recovery 
is bound to have recourse for the imposition of a penance to the 
S. Penitentiary, or to the bishop, or some one else having facul 
ties to absolve from censures reserved to the Holy See specialis 
simo modo, and, in case of censures by precept or sentence, to 
the authority that imposed the precept or gave the sentence. If 
the convalescent neglects this obligation he falls again under the 
same censure. (Canon 2252.) 

1537. Outside the case of danger of death the power to 
absolve from censures is regulated as follows : 

1. from a censure which is not reserved, every priest may 
absolve in the Sacramental forum; outside Sacramental con 
fession the power to absolve is limited to those persons who have 
jurisdiction over the offender in the external forum; 

2. from a censure ab homine may absolve he who imposed 
the censure, his superior and his successor in office, and he may 
give this absolution even if the offender has since transferred his 
domicile or quasi-domicile outside the territory of jurisdiction 
of the one who inflicted the censure; 

3. from a censure reserved a jure can absolve he who 
ordained the censure, or he to whom it is reserved, and their 
successors in office, their competent superiors, or their delegates. 
Wherefore, from a censure reserved to the bishop or Ordinary, 
any superior having ordinary jurisdiction in the external forum 
can absolve his subjects, and the local Ordinary can absolve 
within his territory also the transients. From a censure reserved 
to the Holy See can absolve the Holy See and others who have 
obtained from that authority the faculty to absolve, which is 


called general if given for censures reserved to the Holy See sim- 
pliciter; special if given for cases reserved speciali modo; and 
most special if for cases reserved specialissimo modo. The spe 
cial concession for more urgent cases is explained in the following 
Canon. (Canon 2253.) 

1538. In cases where the censure latae sententiae, into 
which one has fallen, cannot be suffered without great danger 
of scandal or loss of good reputation, or when it is hard for the 
penitent to remain in sin until the faculty to absolve can be 
obtained from the superior, any confessor can in Sacramental 
confession absolve from any censure, no matter in what manner 
it is reserved ; but he must impose the obligation on the penitent 
to have recourse within one month to the S. Penitentiary, or to 
a bishop, or another person having faculties from the Holy See 
for the mandata, i. e. a penance that w r ill be imposed on him; the 
recourse may be made either personally by the penitent, or, at 
least, by letter sent through the confessor without mentioning 
the name of the penitent, which recourse is obligatory when it 
is possible without great inconvenience. 

The penitent is not forbidden, after having received absolu 
tion in the manner just described, and even after recourse has 
been made by letter, to go to confession to another confessor 
who has delegated faculty to absolve, and having again confessed 
at least the sin to which the censure is attached obtain absolu 
tion; after this absolution the confessor shall give the mandata 
and the penitent shall not be obliged to the other mandata which 
will be issued by the superior in answer to the recourse. 

If in some extraordinary case this recourse should be, mo 
rally speaking, impossible, the confessor may absolve without the 
obligation of recourse and impose, in addition to the ordinary 
appropriate penance, a special satisfaction for the censure, which 
he shall demand to be performed within a specified period of 
time ; if the penitent neglects within the specified period of time to 
perform the penance and satisfaction imposed for the censure, he 
shall again fall into it. (Canon 2254.) 


Censures in Particular. 

1539. There are three censures: (1) excommunication; 
(2) interdict; (3) suspension. 


Excommuhication can fall only on a physical person, and 
therefore, if it is sometimes imposed on a moral body or com 
munity, it is understood to affect only the individuals who co 
operated in the offence. Both, interdict and suspension may be 
imposed also on a community as a legal person; excommunica 
tion and interdict affect also lay persons, suspension is a penalty 
for clerics only ; an interdict may affect also a place. An excom 
munication is always a censure, interdict and suspension may be 
either censures or punitive penalties, but in case of doubt they 
are considered censures. (Canon 2255.) 

1540. In the following Canons it is to be observed that: 

1. by the term of Divine offices are meant the functions of 
the power of orders, which by the institution of Christ or of the 
Church are ordained for Divine worship and may be exercised 
only by the clergy ; 

2. by the term of legal ecclesiastical actions are under 
stood : the office of administrator of ecclesiastical goods ; to act 
as judge, auditor, relator, defensor lincidi, promotor of justice 
and of faith, notary, chancellor, cursor, apparitor, lawyer and 
procurator in ecclesiastical cases ; the office of God-parents or 
sponsors in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation; the 
right to vote in ecclesiastical elections ; the exercise of the rights 
of patronage. (Canon 2256.) 

Article I. Excommunication. 

1541. Excommunication is a censure by which a person is 
excluded from communion with the faithful, with the effects 
enumerated in the following Canons and which cannot be sepa 
rated one from the other. 

Excommunication is also called anathema, especially when 
inflicted with the formalities described in the Pontificale Roma- 
num. ( Canon 2257.) 

1542. The excommunicated persons may be either excom- 
municati vitandi, or tolerati. 

No one is considered a vitandus unless he has been excom 
municated by name by the Holy See, has been publicly denounced 
as such, and explicitly declared a vitandus in the decree or cano 
nical sentence. He who lays violent hands on the Roman Pontiff 
becomes by this very deed an excommunicatus vitandus, accord 
ing to Canon 2343, 1, n. 1. (Canon 2258.) 


1543. Every excommunicated person is deprived of the 
right to assist at Divine offices, but he may be present at sermons. 

If an excommunicatus toleratus passively assists at Divine 
services, he need not be expelled, but a vitandus must be re 
moved; if this cannot be done the Divine services must be 
stopped if it can be done without great inconvenience. From 
active participation in Divine services must even be excluded the 
excommunicatus toleratus whose excommunication is publicly 
known or who has been excommunicated in an ecclesiastical court 
by a declaratory or condemnatory sentence. (Canon 2259.) 

1544. Every excommunicated person is forbidden to re 
ceive the Sacraments; after a declaratory or condemnatory sen 
tence he cannot even make proper use of the sacramentals of the 

In reference to ecclesiastical burial the law of Canon 1240, 
1, n. 2, shall be observed, which forbids to give such burial to 
persons excommunicated and interdicted by a declaratory or con 
demnatory sentence in an ecclesiastical court. ( Canon 2260. ) 

1545. An excommunicated priest is forbidden to celebrate 
Holy Mass and to administer the Sacraments and sacramentals, 
with the following exceptions : 

The faithful may, saving the exceptions in the following 
paragraph, ask for any good reason an excommunicated priest 
for the Sacraments and sacramentals, above all when there are 
no other ministers, in which case the excommunicated priest who 
is asked to administer the Sacraments may do so, and he is not 
obliged to inquire for the reason why he was requested. 

From an excommunicatus vitandus as well as from another 
excommunicated priest whose excommunication was pronounced 
in the ecclesiastical court by either condemnatory or declaratory 
sentence, the faithful may only in danger of death ask for sacra 
mental absolution, in accordance with Canons 882 and 2252, and 
also, if there are no other ministers present, for the other Sacra 
ments and sacramentals. (Canon 2261.) 

1546. An excommunicated person is deprived of the indul 
gences, suffrages and public prayers of the Church. 

But it is not forbidden (1) that the faithful pray for him 
privately; (2) that the priests privately apply Holy Mass for 
him, provided scandal is avoided ; for an excommunicatus vitan- 


dus Holy Mass may be applied for his conversion only. (Canon 

1547. An excommunicated person is excluded from legal 
ecclesiastical actions within the limits specified in the various 
places in law; he cannot act in ecclesiastical courts except in as 
far as Canon 1654 permits, which Canon ordains that an excom- 
municatus vitandus, or one whose excommunication has been in 
flicted by condemnatory or declaratory sentence, shall personally 
be allowed to act in court only for the purpose to attack the jus 
tice and legitimacy of the excommunication; by proxy they may 
act to avert any other spiritual damage ; in all other cases they are 
forbidden to act. All other excommunicated persons are gen 
erally allowed to act in court. (Canon 2263.) 

1548. Acts of jurisdiction, both of the external and the in 
ternal forum, exercised by an excommunicated person are un 
lawful; if the excommunication has been pronounced by condem 
natory or declaratory sentence these acts of jurisdiction are in 
valid, saving the exception of Canon 2261, 3, namely if asked 
to administer the Sacraments in danger of death; otherwise they 
are valid and even licit, namely when requested by the faithful 
in accordance with the regulations of Canon 2261, 2, (Canon 

1549. Every excommunicated person 

1. is forbidden to exercise the rights of election, presenta 
tion, nomination; 

2. cannot acquire dignities, offices, benefices, ecclesiastical 
pensions, nor any other offices in the Church ; 

3. cannot be promoted to orders. 

An act done against the rule of nn. 1 and 2, is not invalid, 
unless the acting party be an excommunicatus vitandus, or was 
excommunicated by condemnatory or declaratory sentence; if 
such sentence has been pronounced the excommunicated person 
cannot, moreover, validly obtain any papal favor, unless mention 
is made of the excommunication in the Pontifical rescript. 
(Canon 2265.) 

1550. After a condemnatory or declaratory sentence the 
excommunicated person remains deprived of the fruits of the 
dignity, office, benefice, pension, position, which he has in the 
Church; the excommunicatus vitandus is deprived of the very 
dignity, office, benefice, pension, position. (Canon 2266.) 


1551. The faithful are obliged to avoid intercourse even 
in secular affairs with an excommunicatus vitandus, except hus 
band or wife, parents, children, servants, subjects, and in general 
all who have a reasonable cause for dealing with such excommu 
nicated persons. (Canon 2267.) 

Article II. Interdict. 

1552. The interdict is a censure by which the faithful, 
though remaining in communion with the Church, are forbidden 
those sacred functions which are enumerated in the following 

The prohibition is made either directly, by a personal inter 
dict which prohibits to the same persons the use of the specified 
spiritual benefits, or indirectly, by a local interdict which forbids 
the administration or reception of some Sacraments and sacra- 
mentals in certain places. (Canon 2268.) 

1553. A general interdict, either local for the territory of a 
diocese or a country, or personal, for the people of the diocese 
or country, can be issued by the Holy See only, or at its com 
mand ; the bishop may issue a general interdict for a parish or its 
people, and a particular interdict both local and personal. 

The personal interdict follows the persons wherever they 
go ; the local interdict does not bind outside the interdicted place, 
but in that place all persons, also outsiders and those exempt, un 
less they have a special privilege, are obliged to observe the inter 
dict. (Canon 2269.) 

1554. The local interdict, whether general or particular, 
does not forbid the administration of the Sacraments and sacra- 
mentals to the dying, but it prohibits in that place any Divine 
services or sacred rites, with the exceptions mentioned in 2 of 
this Canon and in Canons 2271 and 2272. 

On Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, and the 
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the local interdict is 
suspended and only the conferring of orders and the solemn 
blessing of marriage are forbidden. (Canon 2270.) 

1555. If the interdict is a local general one and the decree 
does not explicitly state the contrary, the following rules govern : 

1. The clerics, provided they are not themselves personally 
interdicted, are allowed to hold privately and behind closed doors 


Divine services and sacred functions in any church or oratory, 
but in silence and without ringing of church bells. 

2. In the cathedral and in parochial churches and in any 
kind of a church which is the only one in a town, and in these 
churches only, one Holy Mass is allowed to be celebrated, fur 
thermore there is allowed the keeping of the Blessed Sacrament, 
the administration of Baptism, of Eucharist, Penance, marriage 
without the nuptial blessing, funerals without any solemnity, 
blessing of the baptismal water and of the holy oils, preaching of 
the Word of God. In these functions, however, singing and dis 
play in sacred utensils and vestments, ringing of church bells, 
playing of the organ and of other musical instruments is forbid 
den. The holy Viaticum shall be privately brought to the sick. 
(Canon 2271.) 

1556. In a local particular interdict, if a certain altar or a 
shrine is interdicted in a church, no Divine services and sacred 
functions can be held at such. 

If the cemetery is interdicted, the bodies of the faithful may 
be buried there but without any ecclesiastical rite. 

If the interdict was issued against a certain church or ora 
tory : (1) if the church is a capitular one and the Chapter is not 
interdicted, the rule of Canon 2271, n. 1, holds good, unless the 
decree of the interdict demands that the conventual Mass and the 
canonical hours be kept in another church or oratory; (2) if it is 
a parochial church, the law of Canon 2271, n. 2, shall be ob 
served, unless the decree of the interdict substitutes another 
church for parochial functions for the time of the interdict. 
(Canon 2272.) 

1557. If a city is placed under an interdict, also the sub 
urbs are interdicted, not excepting exempt places, and the cathe 
dral itself; if a church is interdicted, the adjoining chapels are 
also under the interdict, not, however, the cemetery; if a shrine 
in a church is interdicted, the whole church is not interdicted, and 
if the cemetery is interdicted, the church, though adjoining it, is 
not under the interdict but all oratories in the cemetery are inter 
dicted with the cemetery. (Canon 2273.) 

1558. If a community or college has committed a crime, 
the interdict can be placed either on the guilty parties individu 
ally, or on the community as such, or on both, the community and 
the guilty individuals. 


If the first is done, the rule of Canon 2275 is to be followed. 

If the second kind of interdict is imposed, the community or 
college cannot exercise any spiritual right proper to the com 
munity as such. 

If the third kind of interdict is issued, it has the combined 
effects. (Canon 2274.) 

1559. Personally interdicted persons: 

1. are not allowed to celebrate Divine offices nor to assist 
at them, with the exception of sermons. If they assist passively 
they need not to be expelled, but if the interdict was imposed by 
a condemnatory or declaratory sentence, or is otherwise no 
torious, they must be kept from active assistance which imports 
any participation in the celebration of Divine offices ; 

2. they are forbidden to consecrate and to administer or 
receive the Sacraments and sacramentals, in the manner specified 
in Canons 2260, 1, and 2261 ; 

3. interdicted persons are also subject to the restrictions of 
Canon 2265 ; 

4. they are deprived of ecclesiastical burial, if the interdict 
has been imposed by condemnatory or declaratory sentence, as 
stated in Canon 1240, 1, n. 2. (Canon 2275.) 

1560. The person who is under a local interdict, or under 
an interdict of a community or college, without having person 
ally given any cause for the same may, if otherwise free from 
censure, and properly disposed may receive without absolution 
from the interdict or any other satisfaction the Sacraments in 
accordance with the foregoing Canons. (Canon 2276.) 

1561. The interdict ab ingressu ecclesiae means the pro 
hibition to celebrate Divine offices in a church, or to assist at 
them, or to be buried from the church. If, however, such person 
assists he need not be expelled, nor must his body be removed if 
he was buried in a church. (Canon 2277.) 

Article III. Suspension. 

1562. Suspension is a censure by which a cleric is deprived 
of the rights of his office, or benefice, or of both conjointly. 

The effects of suspension may also be separated one from 
the other, but unless the contrary is evident from other sources 8 
suspension imposed in general includes all the effects enumerated 
in the Canons of this Article. Suspension from office or from 


benefice, however, imports only all the effects of either species. 
(Canon 2278.) 

1563. Suspension from office simply, without any addi 
tional limitation, forbids not only any act of the power of orders 
and jurisdiction, but also of mere administration proper to an 
office, with the exception only of the administration of the goods 
of one s own benefice. 

Suspension : 

1. from jurisdiction (ab jurisdiction*) in general forbids 
every act of the power of jurisdiction, in either form, and of 
both, ordinary and delegated jurisdiction; 

2. a divinis forbids every act of the power of orders which 
one possesses, either by sacred ordination or by privilege ; 

3. from orders (ab ordinibus) forbids any act of the power 
of orders received by ordination; 

4. From sacred orders (a sacris ordinibus) forbids the ex 
ercise of the powers of major orders; 

5. from the exercise of a certain definite order (a certo et 
definito ordine excrcendo) forbids any act of the specified order; 
the person suspended is, moreover, forbidden to confer the same 
order, and to receive a higher order, and if he should have re 
ceived such an order while under suspension, he is forbidden to 
exercise the same; 

6. from the conferring of a certain specified order (a certo 
et definito ordine confer endo) forbids the conferring of the order 
specified, not, however, of an inferior or superior order; 

7. from a certain specified ministry (a certo et definito 
ministerio) for instance the hearing of confessions, or from a 
certain specified office, for instance a position to which the care 
of souls is attached, forbids every act of that ministry, or office; 

8. from the pontifical order (ab ordine pontificali) forbids 
the exercise of every act of the powers of the order of bishops; 

9. from the pontificals (a pontificalibus) forbids the exer 
cise of pontifical functions, which, according to Canon 337, 2, 
are those pontifical ceremonies at which the rubrics require the 
bishop to use mitre and crozier. (Canon 2279.) 

1564. Suspension from the benefice (a beneficio) deprives 
of the revenue of the benefices with the exception of dwelling in 
the residence belonging to the benefice, but that suspension does 
not take away the right of administration of the goods of the 


benefice, unless the decree, or sentence, of suspension does ex 
plicitly deprive the one so suspended of the right of administra 
tion, and give it to another person. 

If the beneficiary in spite of the suspension does take the 
revenue of the benefice, he is obliged to make restitution and he 
can be forced by canonical penalties to make restitution, if neces 
sary. ( Canon 2280. ) 

1565. If suspension in general is inflicted, or a suspension 
from office or benefice, it affects all offices or benefices which the 
person suspended holds in the diocese of the superior who issued 
the suspension unless the contrary is made evident by the wording 
of the suspension. (Canon 2281.) 

1566. The local Ordinary cannot suspend a cleric from a 
specified office or benefice which he holds in another diocese, but 
a suspension latae sententiac, inflicted by the common law, affects 
all offices or benefices no matter in what diocese they are held by 
the one suspended. (Canon 2282.) 

1567. The actions forbidden to an excommunicated person 
by Canon 2265 are forbidden also to suspended persons. (Canon 

1568. If a censure of suspension was incurred forbidding 
the administration of the Sacraments and sacramentals, the rule 
of Canon 2261 is to be observed. If a censure of suspension was 
incurred forbidding acts of jurisdiction either in the internal or 
external forum, such an act if nevertheless performed is invalid, 
as for instance sacramental absolution, if the suspension was in 
flicted by a condemnatory or declaratory sentence of an eccle 
siastical court, or the superior inflicting the suspension declared 
explicitly that he thereby revokes the very power of jurisdiction; 
otherwise the act is only illicit, and if the faithful request his 
ministry, as specified in Canon 2261, 2, the act is even licit. 
(Canon 2284.) 

1569. If a community or college of clerics committed a 
crime, suspension may be inflicted either against the individual 
delinquents, or on the community as such, or on both, delinquents 
and community. 

If the delinquent individuals are suspended, the Canons of 
this article are to be observed. 

If the community as such is suspended, the community is 


forbidden to exercise the spiritual rights proper to the community 
as a legal body. 

If both, individual delinquents and community, are sus 
pended, the suspension has the combined effects so that not only 
the guilty individuals suffer, but also the community in those 
rights which require the action of the community as such. (Canon 


Punitive Penalties. 

1570. Punitive penalties are those which directly tend to 
ward the expiation of crime, so that their remission does not de 
pend on the cessation of obstinacy of the delinquent. (Canon 

1571. From the infliction of punitive penalties the law 
grants appeal or recourse in suspensive, that is to say, the pen 
alties are not taking effect pending the appeal unless the law in 
some case explicitly provides otherwise. (Canon 2287.) 

1572. With the exception of the penalties of degradation, 
deposition, privation of office or benefice, and of cases where the 
reparation of scandal demands punishment of the delinquent, it 
is left to the prudence of the judge to suspend the execution of 
an ordinary penalty inflicted by condemnatory sentence, if the 
delinquent has committed an offence for the first time after a 
laudable life, under condition, however, that the guilty party if 
he commit another offence within the next three years, either of 
the same or of a different kind, shall incur the penalty of both the 
past offence and the new crime. (Canon 2288.) 

1573. A punitive penalty ceases either by completion of 
the term of penance, or by dispensation granted by him who has 
legitimate power to dispense, according to Canon 2236. (Canon 

1574. In more urgent, occult cases, if the delinquent would 
have to betray himself, with resulting loss of his good reputation 
and danger of scandal, by observing the punitive penalty latae 
sentential which he incurred, any confessor may in the sacra 
mental forum suspend the obligation of performing the penalty, 
but he must impose the obligation to have recourse within one 
month by letter and through the confessor, if this can be done 
without great inconvenience, to the S. Penitentiary, or to the 


bishop if he has faculties, and to accept their orders; the name 
of the delinquent is not to be mentioned. 

If in some extraordinary case this recourse is not possible, 
the confessor himself can grant the dispensation, according to 
Canon 2254, 3. (Canon 2290.) 


Common Punitive Penalties. 

1575. Punitive penalties, which may affect all the faithful 
in proportion to the gravity of the offences, are the following : 

1. a local interdict, or an interdict on a community or col 
lege, either perpetually or for a definite period of time, or ad 
beneplacitum superioris, that is to say, as long as the superior 
does not lift the interdict; 

2. an interdict from entering a church (ab ingressu eccle- 
siae) either perpetually, or for a fixed space of time, or at the 
will of the superior; 

3. penal transfer, or suppression, of an episcopal see or a 
parish ; 

4. infamy of law; 

5. privation of ecclesiastical burial, according to Canon 
1240, 1 ; 

6. privation of the sacramentals; 

7. privation or suspension for a time of a pension which 
one receives from a church or from ecclesiastical goods, or of 
any other ecclesiastical right or privilege ; 

8. prohibition to exercise legal ecclesiastical actions; 

9. inability to receive in the church ecclesiastical favors or 
positions which do not require the clerical state, or to receive 
academical degrees conferred by ecclesiastical authority; 

10. privation for a time of the position, faculty or favor 
which one has already received ; 

11. privation of the right of precedence, of active or pas 
sive vote, or of the right to wear titles, insignia and dress of 
honor conceded by the Church to distinguished clerics or laymen; 

1 2 . money fines . ( Canon 2291.) 

1576. The penal suppression, or transfer, of an episcopal 
see is reserved to the Roman Pontiff; that of a parish can be 
decided by the Ordinary only with the advice of the Chapter, or 
of the diocesan consultors. (Canon 2292.) 


1577. Infamy is divided into infamy of law and of fact. 
Infamy of law is that which is specified in certain cases by 

the common law. 

Infamy of fact is incurred when a person has lost his good 
reputation with good and seriously-minded Catholics, on account 
of some crime which he committed, or wicked conduct, the judg 
ment of which belongs to the Ordinary. 

Neither kind of infamy will affect the person s blood rela 
tions or relations by marriage, except in the case where the pastor 
keeps in his house relations who lead a scandalous life whom he 
is bound to eject from his house, and if he does not do so after 
having been warned by the bishop, he may be deprived of his 
parish. Cf. Canon 2147, 2, n. 3. (Canon 2293.) 

1578. He who suffers from infamy of law is not only ir 
regular, as stated in Canon 984, n. 5, but is, moreover, incapable 
of acquiring ecclesiastical benefices, pensions, offices and dig 
nities, and of performing legal ecclesiastical actions, of exercising 
any ecclesiastical right or office, and, finally, he must be kept from 
the exercise of the ministry in sacred functions. 

He who suffers from infamy of fact must be excluded from 
receiving any orders, according to Canon 987, n. 7, from dig 
nities, benefices, ecclesiastical offices, and also from the exercise 
of the sacred ministry and from legal ecclesiastical actions. 
(Canon 2294.) 

1579. Infamy of law ceases only by dispensation granted 
by the Holy See; infamy of fact ceases when the good reputa 
tion has been reestablished with good and seriously-minded Cath 
olics, considering all circumstances, and especially amendment 
of the guilty party made long ago. The bishop is to judge con 
cerning the cessation of infamy of fact. (Canon 2295.) 

1580. If there is question of things for the acquisition of 
which the common law makes a person capable, the penalty of 
inhability can be inflicted by the Apostolic See alone. Thus, for 
instance, the diriment impediments in marriage, or irregularities 
for reception of orders, can be established by no authority in 
ferior to the Holy See. 

Rights which have already been acquired are not lost by a 
supervening inhability, unless the penalty of privation is added 
to this inhability by the law. (Canon 2296.) 

1581. Money fines inflicted by the common law, of which 


the same law does not specify what is to be done with the money, 
and other fines imposed or to be imposed by particular laws are 
to be employed by the local Ordinaries for pious purposes, not, 
however, for the benefit of the episcopal mensa or for that of the 
Chapter. (Canon 2297.) 


Punitive Penalties Special to the Clergy. 

1582. Punitive penalties inflicted on clerics only are the 
following : 

1. prohibition to exercise the sacred ministry except in one 
specified church ; 

2. suspension, forever or for a definite length of time, or 
at the discretion (ad beneplacitum) of the superior; 

3. transfer for punishment from an office or benefice held 
by the cleric to another, inferior one ; 

4. privation of some right connected with the benefice or 
office ; 

5. inhability either for all or some dignities, offices, bene 
fices and other positions proper to the clergy ; 

6. penal privation of the benefice or office, with or with 
out a pension ; 

7. prohibition to stay in a certain place or territory ; 

8. command to stay in a certain place or territory; 

9. privation of the ecclesiastical garb for a time; 

10. deposition; 

11. perpetual privation of the ecclesiastical garb; 

12. degradation. (Canon 2298.) 

1583. If a cleric obtains an irremovable benefice, he can be 
deprived of the same only in the cases expressed by law; if he 
has a removable benefice, he may be deprived of it also for other, 
reasonable causes. 

Clerics who possess a benefice, office, dignity, may be for 
bidden for some time the exercise of merely some ministry c 
nected with their position, for instance, to preach, to hear 
fessions, etc. 

The cleric cannot be deprived of the benefice or pension un 
der the title of which he was ordained unless other provis 
made for his proper support. If he does not amend and lead a 


life in keeping with the clerical state, then, according to Canons 
2303 and 2304, the Church may expel him from the ranks of the 
clergy, without being responsible for his maintenance. (Canon 

1584. If a cleric gives great scandal, and does not amend 
after being admonished, and the scandal cannot be removed in 
any other way, he may in the meantime be deprived of the right 
to wear the ecclesiastical garb. This privation, while it lasts, im 
ports the prohibition to exercise any functions of the ecclesias 
tical ministry, and the privation of the clerical privileges. (Canon 

1585. The Ordinary cannot command a cleric to stay in a 
specified place outside his own diocese unless he obtains the con 
sent of the Ordinary of that place, or there is question of a house 
of penance or correction destined not only for the clergy of one 
diocese but also for externs, or of a religious exempt house where 
the consent of the superior of the house suffices. (Canon 2301.) 

1586. The command, as well as the prohibition, to stay in 
a specified place, and the placing of a cleric in a house of penance 
or in a religious house, especially if this is to last for a long period 
of time, shall be imposed only in more serious cases, in which ac 
cording to the good judgment of the Ordinary these penalties are 
necessary for the correction of the cleric and for the reparation 
of the scandal he has given. (Canon 2302.) 

1587. Deposition imports the suspension from office as 
well as the inability for promotion to any offices, dignities, bene 
fices, pensions, positions in the Church, as also the privation from 
those which the guilty cleric actually has, though he was ordained 
under their title. The obligations arising from ordination, as for 
instance the obligation of the Divine office, celibacy, etc., for 
those in major orders, and also the clerical privileges remain to 
the deposed clerics. 

If the cleric loses by the penalty of deposition the benefice 
or office which served as a title for his ordination, and should not 
have any other revenue for decent maintenance, the Ordinary 
should out of charity provide for him in the best possible way, in 
order that the deposed cleric may not be forced to go begging to 
the disgrace of the clerical state. 

The penalty of deposition cannot be inflicted except in the 
cases expressed in law. (Canon 2303.) 


1588. If the deposed cleric does not show any signs of 
amendment, and especially if he continues to give scandal and 
does not change his evil ways after being admonished, the Ordi 
nary may deprive him forever of the right to wear the ecclesias 
tical garb. 

This privation imports the loss of the clerical privileges and 
cessation of the obligation of the Ordinary to provide main 
tenance for him as referred to in Canon 2303, 2. (Canon 

1589. Degradation includes deposition, perpetual privation 
of the ecclesiastical garb, and reduction of the cleric to the state 
of the laity. 

The penalty of degradation can be inflicted only for a crime 
to which the law attaches such a penalty, or if the cleric who has 
already been deposed and deprived of the clerical garb, has con 
tinued for a year to give great scandal. 

The degradation is either verbal, or by edict, i. e., inflicted 
by sentence only, which, however, has all its juridical effect im 
mediately without any execution ; or real, if the formalities pre 
scribed in the Pontificale Romanum are observed. (Canon 


Penal Remedies and Penances. 

Penal Remedies. 

1590. Penal remedies are : 

1 . monition, 

2. correction, 

3. precept, 

4. surveillance. (Canon 2306.) 

1591. The Ordinary shall admonish a person who stays in 
proximate occasion of committing an offence, or against whom 
there is a grave suspicion of having committed an offence, after 
inquisition by the Ordinary has preceded. The monition may be 
tendered either by the Ordinary in person, or by another persor 
delegated by him. ( Canon 2307. ) 

1592. If by the conduct of some person scandal or grave 
disturbance of order arises, reproof is to be given by the Ordi- 


nary or his delegate, which may also be done by letter. The repri 
mand is to be accommodated to the peculiar circumstances of the 
person, as well as to the fact in question. (Canon 2308.) 

1593. The monition as well as the reprimand may be either 
public or secret. 

The public reprimand or monition is to be given either be 
fore a notary of the ecclesiastical Curia, or before two witnesses, 
or by letter, in such way that the receipt of the letter as well as 
of its contents can be proved by some document. If sent by letter, 
the notary should make an exact copy of the letter which was 
mailed, and which he should keep for future reference in proof 
of the contents of the monition, and proof of receipt of the 
letter in the form of the return receipt of the registered letter 
is also to be kept. 

A public reprimand can be given only to a guilty party who 
has been convicted of the offence or has confessed to it; it is 
judicial, if given by the judge in court, or by the Ordinary before 
the criminal trial commences. 

The judicial reprimand either takes the place of punishment, 
or is given to increase the punishment, especially when there is 
question of a recidivus. 

If the monition and reprimand were given secretly, proof of 
the same must nevertheless be had by some document, which is 
to be preserved in the secret archives of the Curia. 

The reprimand as well as the monition may be given either 
once or repeatedly, according to the prudent judgment of the 
superior. (Canon 2309.) 

1594. If monitions and reprimands have been given with 
out producing results, or if no effect can be hoped to be secured 
by them, a precept should be issued in which is to be accurately 
indicated what the person in question is to do and to avoid, to 
gether with the threat of the penalty in case of transgression. 
(Canon 23 10.) 

1595. If the gravity of the case demands it, and especially 
if there is question of a person who is in danger of relapsing into 
the same crime, the Ordinary may subject him to surveillance. 

Surveillance may also be prescribed for the purpose of in 
creasing the punishment, especially against recidivi. (Canon 



1596. Penances in the external fonim are imposed in order 
that a delinquent may either escape the penalty which might be 
imposed on him if a canonical trial were to be instituted against 
him, or also that a delinquent may obtain absolution or dispensa 
tion from a penalty which he has contracted. Thus, for instance, 
when a priest applies for faculty to absolve a penitent from a cen 
sure which he has incurred, the Holy See or the bishop imposes 
a penance which must be fulfilled by the penitent who asks for 
absolution from the censure. 

For an occult offence or transgression no public penance 
should ever be imposed. 

The penances are to be modified not so much in proportion 
to the gravity of the offence as rather to the contrition of the 
penitent, taking into account the condition of the person and the 
circumstances of the offence. (Canon 2312.) 

1597. The principal penances are the precepts : 

1. to recite specified prayers; 

2. to undertake a pious pilgrimage or other works of piety ; 

3. to observe a special fast; 

4. to give alms for pious purposes ; 

5. to make a retreat in a pious institution or a religious 
house for some days. 

The Ordinary may add to penances the penal remedies of 
monitions and reprimand, (Canon 2313.) 


1598. Canons 2314-2414 deal with the penalties inflicted 
by the Code on various, specified crimes. Some of these pen 
alties are incurred by the very fact of committing the crime (ipso 
facto, or latae sententiae), others are to be imposed by the com 
petent authority (ferendae sententiae) in case the offence is 
brought to the notice of the ecclesiastical superior. Penalties 
ferendae sententiae are of the nature of a precept to the ecclesias 
tical judge to impose the specified penalty if the party is proved 
guilty in court. 


Penalties Incurred "Ipso Facto" ("Latae Sententiae"). 

I. Excommunications Reserved to the Holy See "Specialis- 

simo Modo": 

1599. 1. such excommunication is visited upon him who 
desecrates the consecrated particles, or carries them off for an 
evil purpose, or keeps them for that end (Canon 2320); 

2. on him who lays violent hands on the Roman Pontiff. 
Such a person becomes ipso facto an excommunicatus vitandus 
(Canon 2343) ; 

3. On a priest who absolves, or makes believe to absolve, 
his accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment. Even 
in danger of death the priest cannot without incurring excommu 
nication absolve his accomplice so long as another priest can be 
had without great danger of betraying the priest and giving 
scandal, except in case the sick person refuses to confess to an 
other priest. The excommunication is incurred also when the 
penitent does not mention the sin of complicity, if the guilty 
confessor directly or indirectly induced the penitent not to con 
fess the sin (Canon 2367) ; 

4. a confessor who presumes to violate directly the seal of 
confession (Canon 2369). 

II. Excommunications Reserved to the Holy See "Speciali 

Modo" Befall: 

1600. 1. all apostates from the Christian faith, and all her 
etics and schismatics (Canon 2314); 

2. publishers of books written by apostates, heretics, and 
schismatics, who advance the cause of apostacy, heresy, or 
schism; also those who defend such books, and others condemned 
by name through Apostolic Letters; finally those who, knowing 
of the censure, read or keep such books without due permission 
(Canon 2318); 

3. those who are not ordained priests and pretend to cele 
brate Holy Mass or hear confessions (Canon 2322) ; 


4. all persons of whatever station or dignity, even that of 
the Cardinalate, who appeal from the laws, decrees, or commands 
of the reigning Roman Pontiff to a General Council of the 
Church (Canon 2332) ; 

5. those who have recourse to the civil authorities in order 
to impede the letters or documents of the Holy See or of its 
Legates, preventing either directly or indirectly their promulga 
tion or execution, as also those who on account of these letters 
or documents injure or terrify the authors of the same, or others 
on account of them (Canon 2333) ; 

6. those who publish laws, orders, and decrees against the 
liberty and the rights of the Church, as also those who, either 
directly or indirectly, impede the exercise of ecclesiastical juris 
diction both of the internal and external forum by having for 
this purpose recourse to any lay authority (Canon 2334) ; 

7. those who dare without due permission of the Church 
to cite before the civil court a Cardinal, Papal Legate, or major 
official of the Roman Curia on matters arising from their office, 
or their own Ordinary (Canon 2341 ) ; 

8. those who lay violent hands on a Cardinal or a legate of 
the Pope, or on patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops, even though 
merely titular (Canon 2343) ; 

9. those who usurp or retain, by themselves or through 
others, goods and rights belonging to the See of Rome (Canon 

10. those who circulate false letters under the name of the 
Holy See, or falsify papal letters, decrees, rescripts, or know 
ingly use such letters (Canon 2360) ; 

11. those who wrongfully denounce to a superior^ either 
by themselves or through others, a confessor of the crime of 
solicitation (Canon 2363). 

III. Excommunications Reserved to the Holy See "Simpli- 

citer" Befall: 
1601. 1. profiteers from indulgences (Canon 2327); 

2. those who join the sect of the Masons, or other societies 
of the same nature that scheme against the Church or t 

civil authority (Canon 2335) ; 

3. those who without due faculties presume to absolve 


from an excommunication reserved either specialis3imo or spe- 
ciali modo to the Holy See (Canon 2338) ; 

4. those who aid or abet any one in a crime for which he 
was declared excommunicatus vitandus. Clerics who knowingly, 
and of their own accord, participate with such a one in divinis, 
and who admit him to Divine services (Canon 2338) ; 

5. those who bring into the civil court a bishop (not of 
their own diocese), or a titular bishop, an abbot, a prelate nullius, 
or any of the supreme superiors of religious communities ap 
proved by Rome (Canon 2341) ; 

6. persons of either sex who enter without due permission 
the enclosure of nuns of solemn vows, and those who admit them 
to such place. Likewise women who enter the enclosure of reli 
gious men of solemn vows, as also superiors and others who ad 
mit them. Finally, nuns of papal enclosure who go outside of it 
without due permission (Canon 2342) ; 

7. those who retain unjustly Church property of any kind, 
either by themselves or through others, or who thwart those who 
have a right to the income from Church goods. Only after hav 
ing made full restitution can they apply to the Holy See for ab 
solution (Canon 2346); 

8. those who fight a duel, or who make, or accept, a chal 
lenge thereto, or who give any aid to it, or favor it, in any way, 
as also those who purposely go to see the duel, who permit it, or 
do not stop it in as far as they can (Canon 2351 ) ; 

9. clerics in major orders and religious of solemn vows 
who attempt to contract a civil marriage, as also all persons at 
tempting to contract it with them (Canon 2388) ; 

10. those who are guilty of simony in the conferring of an 
office, benefice, and ecclesiastical dignity (Canon 2392, 1) ; 

11. the vicar capitular as well as any of the members of the 
cathedral Chapter, as also others outside the episcopal Curia, who 
steal, destroy, conceal, or substantially alter any document be 
longing to the episcopal Curia (Canon 2405), 

IV. Excommunications Reserved to the Ordinary Are 

Those of 

1602. 1. Catholics who marry before a non-Catholic min 
ister (Canon 2319) ; 

2. Catholics who contract marriage with the explicit or im- 


plicit understanding that either all or some of their children are 
to be brought up as non-Catholics (Canon 2319) ; 

3. Catholics who knowingly present their children to a 
non-Catholic minister for Baptism (Canon 2319); 

4. Catholic parents, or those who take the place of the 
parents, who knowingly have their children brought up or in 
structed in a non-Catholic persuasion (Canon 2319) ; 

5. those who prepare bogus relics, or who knowingly sell, 
distribute or expose them for public veneration (Canon 2326) ; 

6. those who lay violent hands on a cleric or a religious 
(Canon 2343); 

7. those who procure abortion, not excepting the mother, 
if abortion has actually taken place (Canon 2350) ; 

8. Religious of non-exempt communities who apostatize 
from the religious life. Apostates of exempt orders incur excom 
munication reserved to the major superiors of the respective Or 
der (Canon 2385); 

9. Religious of simple perpetual vows, both in Orders and 
congregations, who contract marriage without dispensation, and 
the persons thus contracting with them (Canon 2388). 

V. Excommunications Not Reserved Are Those of 

1603. 1. authors and publishers who without due permis 
sion publish books of the Bible, or annotations and commentaries 
on the same (Canon 2318, 2) ; 

2. those who dare to demand, or force, the Church to give 
ecclesiastical burial to infidels, apostates, and others excluded 
from ecclesiastical burial (Canon 2339) ; 

3. those who alienate church property and knowingly fail 
to obtain the beneplacitum of the Holy See, if the goods are of 
great value, namely, worth more than six thousand dollars. All 
those implicated in such transaction by giving, receiving, or con 
senting, fall under the censure ( Canon 2347) ; 

4. those who force another in any way to enter the clerical 
life, or a religious community, or to take vows, whether solemn 
or simple, temporary or perpetual (Canon 2352) ; 

5. the faithful who neglect to denounce within one month 
the priest guilty of solicitation in confession (Canon 2368, 2). 


VI. Interdicts Incurred "Ipso Facto." 

1604. 1. An interdict reserved speciali modo to the Holy See 
is incurred by any university, college, Chapter, and other com 
munity of whatsoever kind, that appeals from the orders and 
decrees of the reigning Sovereign Pontiff to a General Council of 
the Church. ( Canon 2332. ) 

2. Those who knowingly celebrate, or make another cele 
brate, Divine offices in places that are interdicted, as also those 
who admit excommunicated, or suspended, or interdicted clerics 
after their censure has been pronounced by condemnatory or 
declaratory sentence in court, incur an interdict ab ingressu eccle- 
siae, reserved to the authority whose law or command was vio 
lated. (Canon 2338, 3.) 

3. Those who are the cause of a local interdict, or of an 
interdict on a college or community, incur a personal interdict. 
(Canon 2338, 4.) Though there is no mention made of the 
reservation of this interdict, it is understood that in case an au 
thority inflicts an interdict on an individual or a community, no 
one can free such person from the punishment except the one 
who imposed the penalty, or his successor in office, or the higher 

4. An interdict ab ingressu ccclesiae reserved to the Ordi 
nary falls on those who of their own accord give ecclesiastical 
burial to persons not entitled thereto by law. (Canon 2339.) 

VII. Suspensions Incurred "Ipso Facto." 

1605. 1. Suspensions reserved to the Holy See are in 
curred as follows : 

(a) a consecrating bishop and his assistants, whether 
bishops or priests, who consecrate a bishop without leave from 
the Holy See are ipso facto suspended, as also the consecrated 
bishop, until the Holy See shall absolve them (Canon 2370) ; 

(b) clerics promoted by simony to orders, and those ad 
ministering or receiving any other Sacrament through simony, 
are ipso facto suspended (Canon 2371) ; 

(c) those who presumptuously receive orders from one who 
is publicly excommunicated, suspended or interdicted, or from a 
notorious apostate, heretic, schismatic, incur suspension a divinis, 
reserved to the Holy See (Canon 2372) ; 

(d) suspension from conferring orders for a year is in- 


curred by: (1) those who ordain a non-subject without proper 
dimissorial letters; (2) those who ordain a subject without testi 
monial letters, if after the age of puberty the ordinandus lived in 
another diocese for six months, or, in case of soldiers, for three 
months; (3) those who ordain one to major orders without a 
proper canonical title; (4) those who ordain religious when they 
have no right to be ordained outside the diocese in which the 
monastery of the candidates is situated (Canon 2373) ; 

(e) a religious in major orders whose profession is null and 
void on account of deceit on his part is ipso facto suspended until 
the Holy See dispense him (Canon 2387). 

2. Suspensions reserved to the Ordinary: 

1606. (a) Clerics who without due permission from the 
Ordinary sue in a civil court a priest, cleric or religious, incur 
suspension from office. (Canon 2341.) 

(b) Religious who become fugitives (see Canon 644, 3) 
incur suspension reserved to their own superior. (Canon 2386.) 

3. Suspensions not reserved : 

1607. (a) Priests who hear confessions without proper 
jurisdiction are ipso facto suspended a divinis. Those who pre 
sumptuously absolve from reserved sins are ipso facto suspended 
from the hearing of confessions (Canon 2366) ; 

(b) those who are ordained without dimissorial letters, or 
with false ones, or before the canonical age, or by skipping some 
orders intentionally, are ipso facto suspended from the orders 
thus received (Canon 2374) ; 

(c) suspension a divinis is incurred by those clerics who 
resign an office, benefice, or ecclesiastical dignity, into the hands 
of lay persons (Canon 2400) ; 

(d) an abbot or a prelate nullius, who without necessity 
puts off his consecration for over three months after receiving the 
papal letters, ipso facto incurs suspension from jurisdiction 
(Canon 2402); 

(e) a vicar capitular who gives dimissorial letters contrary 
to Canon 958, 1, 3, incurs ipso facto suspension a divinis 
(Canon 2409) ; 

(f) religious superiors, who, in violation of Canons 
967, send their subjects for ordination to a strange bishop, are 
ipso facto suspended for one month from the celebration of 
Mass (Canon 2410). 


VIII. Infamy of Law Incurred "Ipso Facto": 

1608. 1. Catholics who formally join a non-Catholic sect, 
or publicly adhere to it (Canon 2314, 3) ; 

2. desecrators of consecrated hosts (Canon 2320) ; 

3. persons who dishonor the memory of the dead by theft 
or other crimes committed on the bodies or the graves of the 
deceased (Canon 2328) ; 

4. those who lay violent hands on the Roman Pontiff, Car 
dinals, or Papal Legates (Canon 2343, 1); 

5. those who fight a duel, and their official witnesses 
(Canon 2351, 2); 

6. those who attempt a so-called civil marriage while their 
lawful husband or wife is living (Canon 2356) ; 

7. lay persons lawfully condemned for crimes of impurity 
with minors under sixteen years of age, or for attack on women, 
sodomy, bawdry, incest (Canon 2357). 

IX. Loss of Salary Is Incurred "Ipso Facto" by: 

1609. 1. clerics who possess an office or benefice which 
requires residence, for instance a parish, ipso facto forfeit the 
right to the revenue or salary of their benefice or office, in propor 
tion to the time during which they illegitimately absented them 
selves, and they are obliged to turn it over to the Ordinary who is 
to use the money for the benefit of a church, or pious institution, 
or as alms for the poor (Canon 2381, 1) ; 

2. persons who neglect to make the profession of faith re 
quired by Canon 1406 in the appointment to certain offices and 
benefices forfeit the right to the revenue or salary of the benefice 
or office for the time that without a legal excuse for such delay 
they neglected to make the profession (Canon 2403). 

X. Loss of Office or Benefice Incurred "Ipso Facto" by: 

1610. 1. voters in elections by a college or community of 
clerics or religious, in which lay persons interfere with the rights 
and the freedom of the Church, if the voters solicited, or of their 
own accord admitted, such interference, are ipso facto deprived 
of the right to vote in that election and the person thus elected, 
who knowingly consents to his election, becomes ipso facto in- 


capable of acquiring the office or benefice in question (Canon 

2. those who have been elected, nominated or presented to 
an ecclesiastical benefice, office, dignity, and assume possession or 
administration before they have received the necessary letters of 
confirmation or appointment become ipso facto incapable f orj;hat 
office or benefice; the Chapter or community who admits them 
before they have shown the letters of confirmation or appoint 
ment are ipso facto suspended ad beneplacitum S. Sedis from the 
right of election, nomination, presentation (Canon 2394) ; 

3. he who knowingly accepts the appointment to an office, 
benefice, or dignity, which is not vacant by law, and allows him 
self to be put in possession of the same, becomes ipso facto in 
capable of obtaining the said office or benefice when it becomes 
actually vacant (Canon 2395) ; 

4. clerics who have obtained peaceful possession of another 
office or benefice which is incompatible with the former, and pre 
sume to keep possession of both against the ruling of Canons 156 
and 1439, are ipso facto deprived of both (Canon 2396) ; 

5. he who has been promoted to an episcopal see and neg 
lects to be consecrated within three months, as required by Canon 
333, loses the revenue of the episcopal see, which is to be applied 
to the benefit of the cathedral church, and if he delays his conse 
cration for three more months he is ipso facto deprived of the 
bishopric (Canon 2398). 

Penalties "Ferendae Sententiae." 

I. Excommunication. 

1611. Lay persons who are unfaithful in the handling of 
Mass stipends may be excommunicated by the Ordinary if their 
offence has been very serious. (Canon 2324.) 

II. Interdict "Ferendae Sententiae." 

1612. 1. By interdict ab ingressu ecclesiae are to be pun 
ished those who desecrate a church or cemetery by homicide or 
by copious spilling of blood by sinful action, by using the church 
or cemetery for impious or indecent purposes, by burial of an in- 


fidel or of a person excommunicated by an ecclesiastical court 
(Canon 2329). 

2. Bigamists who, in violation of the rights of their lawful 
partner, live in concubinage with another party, are after having 
been admonished without avail to be punished with personal in 
terdict or with excommunication (Canon 2356). 

3. Persons who violate the graves by theft, or abuse the 
bodies of the deceased for an evil purpose are to be punished with 
personal interdict (Canon 2328). 

III. Suspensions "Ferendae Sententiae." 

1613. 1. Clerics suspected of heresy are to be suspended 
a divinis (Canon 2315). 

2. Clerics who knowingly teach or defend, either publicly 
or privately, a doctrine that has been condemned by the Holy See 
or by a General Council, even though not as heretical, are to be 
suspended from preaching, hearing of confessions, and any office 
of teaching (Canon 2317). 

3. Priests who against the law of Canon 806, 1, and 808 
say Holy Mass twice the same day without permission, or who 
celebrate without keeping the eucharistic fast, are to be suspended 
by the Ordinary for a time to be determined by him (Canon 

4. Clerics who trade with Mass stipends, or do not fulfil 
the obligation of the stipend, or unjustly retain part of the sti 
pend when having the Mass said by another, are to be punished 
severely by the Ordinary, and if the transgression is very serious 
they may be punished with suspension and privation of office or 
benefice (Canon 2324). 

5. A pastor who incites the people by word or writing to 
impede the exercise of jurisdiction of his Ordinary, may, if the 
case is serious, be suspended. With the same penalty the Ordi 
nary shall punish a priest who excites the people in any manner 
to impede the entrance into the parish of a priest lawfully ap 
pointed as its pastor or administrator (Canon 2337). 

6. Clerics who violate the enclosure of nuns of solemn 
vows, besides incurring excommunication reserved to the Holy 
See simplici modo, are to be suspended for a time by the bishop 
( Canon 2342, 1). 


7. Secular or religious clerics in sacred orders, who live in 
concubinage and do not amend after having been admonished, 
are to be suspended a divinis, and to be deprived of the revenue 
of their office or benefice, by summary trial as outlined in Canons 
2176-2181 (Canons 2359, 1). If they have committed acts of 
impurity with persons under sixteen years of age, adultery, at 
tack on women, bestiality, sodomy, bawdry, incest with blood 
relations or relations by marriage in the first degree, they are to be 
suspended, punished with infamy of law, and deprived of any 
office, benefice, dignity, and in more serious cases they are to be 
deposed (Canon 2359, 2). 

8. Priests who dare to give Confirmation without having 
this faculty either by law or by indult of the Holy See, are to be 
suspended. If they knowingly exceed the limits of their faculty 
or indult, they are ipso facto deprived of the faculty of confer 
ring this Sacrament (Canon 2365). 

9. Priests who commit the crime of solicitation in confes 
sion, as described in Canon 904, are to be suspended from the 
celebration of Holy Mass and the hearing of confessions, and if 
the gravity of the guilt demands it, they shall be declared in 
capable of hearing confessions, and be deprived of every bene 
fice, office, dignity, active and passive vote, and declared incapable 
of ever acquiring these. In more serious cases they shall be de 
graded (Canon 2368, 1). 

10. Confessors who indirectly violate the seal of confession 
are to be punished with the penalties mentioned in the preceding 
paragraph (Canon 2369, 1). 

1 1 . Clerics in major orders who fail in grave matters to ob 
serve the rites and ceremonies prescribed by the Church in the 
sacred ministry, shall after previous admonition be suspended 
(Canon 2378). 

12. Clerics who do not wear the ecclesiastical garb (and, 
in countries where it is the custom, the tonsure) and have been 
admonished without result, shall, if in major orders, be suspended 
from their order unless they amend within one month; clerics in 
minor orders ipso facto forfeit the clerical state if they do not 
heed the admonition of the Ordinary (Canon 2379). 

13. Clerics in major orders who abandon the office or work 
committed to them by their own Ordinary without his permission, 
shall be suspended a divinis for a time (Canon 2399). 


14. If a cleric after legitimate privation of, or removal 
from, an office or benefice does not relinquish the same, he shall 
after previous admonition be forced to obey by suspension a di- 
vinis, and even by deposition if necessary (Canon 2401). 

IV. Degradation. 

1614. 1. Clerics who formally join, or publicly adhere to, 
a non-Catholic sect are to be degraded, if they do not amend 
after having been admonished (Canon 2314, 3). 

2. Clerics who lay violent hands on the Roman Pontiff are 
to be degraded (Canon 2343, 1). 

3. Clerics guilty of voluntary homicide are to be degraded 
(Canon 2354, 2). 

4. Clerics in minor orders guilty of very serious crimes 
against the Sixth Commandment, for instance fornication with 
minors under sixteen years of age, sodomy, incest, may be de 
prived of the clerical state (Canon 2358). 

V. Deposition Is Incurred by: 

1615. 1. clerics who desecrate the consecrated particles 
(Canon 2320); 

2. clerics who violate the graves of the dead by theft, or 
abuse the bodies of the deceased for any evil purpose (Canon 

3. clerics guilty of procuring abortion (Canon 2350). 

VI. Suspicion of Heresy Falls on: 

1616. 1. persons who knowingly and of their own accord 
help to propagate heresy in any manner, or who take an active 
part in the Divine worship of non-Catholics, as forbidden by 
Canon 1258 (Canon 2316); 

2. persons who contract marriage with the understanding 
that all or some of their children are to be raised as non-Catho 
lics ; parents who have their children baptized by a non-Catholic 
minister, and parents and guardians who have their charges in 
structed in a non-Catholic sect (Canon 2319) ; 

3. persons who desecrate consecrated particles (Canon 
2320) ; 

4. persons of any state or dignity who appeal from the 


laws, decrees, orders of the Roman Pontiff to a General Council 
(Canon 2332) ; 

5. persons who continue obstinately in the censure of ex 
communication for one year (Canon 2340, 1); 

6. all persons, not excluding those in the episcopal dignity, 
who knowingly, through simony, ordain others, or are ordained, 
and minister or receive the Sacraments (Canon 2371). 

Canon 2315 provides that persons suspected of heresy are 
to be admonished to remove the cause of the suspicion, and if 
they fail to do so they are, if laymen, to be deprived of the right 
to legal actions; while a cleric, after a second admonition, is to 
be suspended a divinis. All who, by law, are suspected of heresy 
are, after having been admonished and punished in the aforesaid 
manner, considered heretics, and become liable to the penalties 
for heresy if they do not amend within six months after the first 

VII. Prohibition from Legal Actions Is to Be Inflicted on: 

1617. 1. persons suspected to heresy (Canon 2315); 

2. persons who have attempted the crime of suicide (Canon 
2350, 1); 

3. men guilty of rape, even though there be the intention 
of marrying the woman, or who elope with a girl of minor age 
without the knowledge or against the protest of parents or 
guardians, are ipso facto deprived of the right to legal actions 
(Canon 2353) ; 

4. lay persons, who have been lawfully condemned for the 
crime of homicide, of rape against those not of the age of 
puberty, of real slavery or selling of a human individual for any 
evil purpose, usury, robbery, theft of very large amounts, incen 
diarism or other serious destruction of property, grave mutila 
tion, wounding, violence, are ipso facto deprived of the right to 
legal actions, and of any position they may have in the Church 
(Canon 2354); 

5. persons who have committed public adultery, who live 
in public concubinage, or have been lawfully condemned for other 
crimes of impurity, are to be forbidden the right to legal actions 
until they have given true signs of repentance (Canon 2357, 2) ; 

6. Catholics who contract a mixed marriage, though 
validly, without a dispensation of the Church are ipso facto 


deprived of the right to legal actions and of the sacramentals 
until they are dispensed by the Ordinary (Canon 2375); 

7. religious who apostatize from the religious life, are in 
addition to incurring excommunication, ipso facto deprived of 
the right to legal actions and of active and passive vote. (Canon 
2385.) Cf. Canon 2256 which specifies the actions forbidden by 
this prohibition. 

VIII. Various Other Penalties "Ferendae Sententiae." 

1618. 1. Privation of benefice, dignity, office, pension, or 
any other ecclesiastical position, and infamy of law is to be in 
flicted on apostates, heretics, schismatics, if after repeated ad 
monition they do not amend. (Canon 2314, 2.) 

2. Laymen who pretend to hear confessions, or to say Holy 
Mass, are to be deprived of any position they hold in the Church, 
or any ecclesiastical pension. (Canon 2322.) 

3. Clerics conspiring against the authority of the Roman 
Pontiff, his legates, or their own Ordinary, and against their law 
ful orders, are to be punished with censures and deprived of 
dignities, offices, benefices; religious shall be deprived of active 
and passive vote, and of the office they hold. (Canon 2331, 2.) 

4. Clerics who have recourse to any lay authority to ob 
struct the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction of either the 
internal or the external forum, or who join the Masons or any 
other society of the same nature, shall, in addition to the excom 
munication incurred in virtue of Canons 2334 and 2335, be 
punished by suspension or privation of their benefice, office, dig 
nity, pension, or any other position in the Church. Religious 
who are guilty of these offences shall be deprived of every office 
and of active and passive vote. Clerics and religious who join 
the Masons or any other similar society must, moreover, be de 
nounced to the Holy Office. (Canon 2336, 1.) 

5. If a cleric continues for six months in the censure of 
suspension, he shall be admonished to amend, and if one month 
from the admonition has elapsed without result he shall be de 
prived of his benefice or office. (Canon 2340.) 

6. Clerics who lay violent hands on a Cardinal or Papal 
Legate are to be deprived of benefices, offices, dignities, pensions, 
or any other position they hold in the Church. (Canon 2343, 2.) 

7. Clerics who usurp or retain by themselves, or through 


others, goods and rights of the See of Rome, besides incurring 
ipso facto excommunication reserved to the Holy See speciali 
modo, are to be deprived of benefices, offices, pensions, and to 
be declared incapable of ever acquiring them. (Canon 2345.) 

8. Clerics who unjustly appropriate to themselves Church 
goods of any kind, or consent that others steal them, besides 
incurring ipso facto excommunication reserved to the Holy See 
simplici modo, are to be deprived by their Ordinary of any bene 
fice, and declared incapable of ever obtaining a benefice, and to 
be suspended for a time. ( Canon 2346. ) 

9. If a religious superior or procurator alienates without 
the formalities required by Canons 534, 1, and 1532, ecclesias 
tical goods worth more than two hundred and less than six 
thousand dollars, he shall be punished with privation of his office 
and with inability to acquire other offices; the Ordinary and 
other clerics who have an office, benefice, or position in the 
Church shall pay double the amount to the church or institution 
which they injured; other clerics shall be suspended for a time. 
(Canon 2347, 2.) 

10. Clerics guilty of attempted suicide shall be suspended 
for a time, and removed from benefices and offices to which the 
care of souls either in the internal or external forum is attached. 
(Canon 2350, 2.) 

11. Clerics guilty of homicide, rape on persons under the 
age of puberty, selling of human beings into slavery or for any 
other evil purpose, robbery, theft in very large amounts, incen 
diarism or other serious damage to property, of grave mutilation, 
wounding or violence, are to be punished with penances, censures 
and privation of offices, benefices, dignities, according to the 
amount of guilt. (Canon 2354, 2.) 

12. Clerics who falsify letters, decrees, or rescripts, of the 
Holy See, or knowingly make use of bogus letters, besides incur 
ring ipso facto excommunication reserved to the Holy See spe 
ciali modo, are to be deprived of their benefice, office, dignity, 
pension ; religious are to be deposed from office and deprived of 
active and passive vote. (Canon 2360, 2.) 

13. Priests who do not attend the diocesan conferences are 
to be punished by the Ordinary according to his judgment. Re 
ligious priests, who do not have the care of souls, but are ap 
proved for confession, are to be suspended .from hearing con- 


fessions of seculars if they, in violation of Canon 131, do not 
appear at the conferences. (Canon 2377.) 

14. Clerics bound to residence in virtue of the office, bene 
fice, or dignity which they hold, may be deprived of them in the 
manner laid down in Canons 2118-2175, if they seriously neglect 
the obligation of residence. (Canon 2381, 2.) 

15. He who, in violation of Canon 1406, neglects by his 
own fault to make the profession of faith before taking posses 
sion of the office or benefice, shall, if he, in spite of the admoni 
tion by the Ordinary nevertheless continues in his negligence, 
be punished with privation of the office or benefice. (Canon 

16. Those who are obliged in virtue of their office to write 
or to keep the records of the various ecclesiastical Curias or of 
parishes, are to be punished with privation of office, if they 
falsify, adulterate, destroy, or hide, the records. Those who 
refuse to show the records to persons entitled to inspect them, 
or to transmit a copy of the records to those who legitimately 
ask for it, are to be punished with privation of office or sus 
pension from office, or with money fines, according to the 
discretion of the Ordinary. (Canon 2406.) 

17. Those who demand fees for concessions of dispensa 
tions, etc., above the ordinary and legitimate charges as sanc 
tioned by Canon 1507, are to be punished with heavy money fines 
and if they again fail in the same matter they are to be suspended 
or even removed from office, besides having the obligation of 
making restitution of the money which they thus unlawfully 
received. ( Canon 2408. ) 

18. Superiors of religious, both of men and women, who 
interfere with the canonical visitation by intimidating, or other 
wise inducing, their subjects not to tell the truth, or who molest 
them for having spoken freely to the visitor, are to be declared 
by the Visitor incapable of holding office, and to be deprived of 
the office they actually hold. (Canon 2413.) 

19. Superioresses who interfere with the liberty the Code 
grants in the matter of the confessions of the sisters (Canons 
518-530), are to be admonished by the Ordinary, and, if they 
fail again, to be removed from office, of which proceeding the 
Ordinary shall notify the S. Congregation of the Religious. 
(Canon 2414.) 


(The numbers refer to paragraphs) 

ABBOT to be called to a General Coun 
cil 154; in charge of a monas 
tery must obtain abbatial blessing 
from the bishop within three 
months 470; is suspended from 
jurisdiction if he neglects to receive 
the blessing 1607, d ; nullius, 
what the term signifies 206, his 
rights and duties 207-209; jurisdic 
tion over the religious 346; nul- 
Kus if consecrated bishop, has the 
same rights as a bishop in refer 
ence to ordinations 800. 
ABORTION punished with excommuni 
cation ipso facto reserved to the 
Ordinary 1602, 7; irregularity in 
curred by 828, 4. 
ABROGATION, how laws are repealed, 
general laws 6; particular law 22- 
23 ; customs 30 ; of favors granted 
by rescript 47. 

ABSENCE from diocese forbidden to 
clerics without leave of the bishop 
119, 310. 

ABSOLUTION, priests presuming to ab 
solve from excommunications re 
served to the Holy See specialis- 
simo and speciali modo incur ex 
communication reserved simplici- 
ter 1601, 3; those who absolve 
from reserved sins without facul 
ties are ipso facto suspended from 
the hearing of confessions and 
those who hear confessions with 
out jurisdiction are ipso facto sus 
pended a divinis 1607, a. 
ABSTINENCE, law of , what it for 
bids 1093; abstinence days 1095; 
who is bound by the law of absti 
nence 1097. 

ACCOMPLICE in sins of impurity can 
not be validly absolved by the guilty 
priest except in danger of death 

727; priest absolving his incurs 
ipso facto excommunication re 
served to the Holy See specialissimo 
modo 1599, 3. 

Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official 
organ of the Holy See 9. 

ACTIONS of legal persons 78; legal 
what the term signifies 1540; pro 
hibition from for certain offences 

ACTS of Plenary and Provincial Coun 
cils to be approved by the Holy See 


ADMINISTRATION of the goods of re 
ligious 3/6-382; of ecclesiastical 
goods 1025-1030; Roman Pontiff 
supreme administrator 1312; bishop 
for his diocese 1313; board of dio 
cesan administrators 1314; * 
charitable institutions 1315-1316; 
their duties 1317; financial state 
ment 1319. 

ADMINISTRATOR Apostolic appointed by 
the Holy See 199; taking posses 
sion of his office 200; rights and 
duties 201-205; by special faculty 
appointed by another bishop or 
archbishop 276. 

ADMISSION into a religious commun 
ity 383; to services in church 
must be free of charge 1024. 
ADOPTION, legal, impediment of mar 
riage 923. 
ADULTERY, reason for separation of 

married people 972 & 973- 
ADULTS, baptism of in danger of 
death 595; formula of baptism for 
by permission of the bishop 598. 
Advena, what the term signifies 68. 
AFFINITY, what constitutes 74 J im ~ 

pediment of marriage 920. 
AGE, seven years of required to 
become subject to the laws of the 




church 12 ; major 65 & 66 ; minor 

66 ; domicile of minors 70 ; im 
pediment of in marriage 910. 

AGENT, clerics must not act as for 
property and goods of others 115. 

AGREEMENTS, special between coun 
tries and the Holy See remain in 
force 3. 

ALIENATION of ecclesiastical goods 
1324-1329; without the benepla- 
citum of the Holy See punished 
with excommunication if the goods 
are of great value 1603, 3. 

ALL SOULS , indult to say three Holy 
Masses on day 649, all altars of 
churches privileged on that day 760. 

ALMS, mendicant Orders living as 
such have the right to collect alms 
in their own diocese 466; to beg in 
another diocese they need the per 
mission of the bishop 467-469. 

ALTARS, various kinds 1040; material 
1041; consecration 1042; loss of 
consecration 1043; title of 1044; 
bodies must not be buried under or 
near the 1045. 

APOSTATE from religious life, defini 
tion of 489 & 490. 

APOSTOLIC SEE, what is meant by the 
term 7. 

APPEAL in marriage cases 1412-1415 ; 

in removal of pastors to be made 
to the Holy See 1430 ; from cen 
sures 1527; from punitive penal 
ties 1571; from Pope to General 
Council by any person punished 
with excommunication 1600, 4; in 
terdict incurred by university or 
community guilty of this offence 
1604, i. 

APPLICATION of Holy Mass by the 
pastor for the parish 311; by the 
bishop for the diocese 220 ; for what 
persons Holy Mass may be applied 

APPOINTMENT to ecclesiastical offices 
to be done in writing 126; of 
bishops subject to Consistorial Con 
gregation 168; exclusive right of 

the Holy See 213 ; bishop who is ap 
pointed must be consecrated within 
three months 214. 

APPROVAL of religious organizations 
333, 3- 

ARBITRATION, settlement of dispute by 

ARCHBISHOP to be called to a General 
Council 154; his rights and privi 
leges in reference to his suffragans 
191 ; convokes Provincial Council 
195 ; his duty to report to the Holy 
See a suffragan who neglects to 
give Confirmation 628. 

563; what confraternities they 
can affiliate 564; what indulgences 
are communicated by due affiliation 
565; conditions for valid affiliation 

ARCHIVES of the diocese, how to be 
kept 256; permission to take out 
documents 259 ; secret how to be 
kept 260; right of the faithful to 
ask for copy of documents of dio 
cesan or parochial 261. 

ARTS unbecoming to the clergy for 
bidden them 114. 

ASSISTANTS to the pastor 320-322. 

ASSOCIATIONS, what societies are for 
bidden to the faithful 529; bishop s 
consent for erection of 531 ; per 
sons elegible for membership; re 
ligious need permission of superior 
538; when inscribing of name is es 
sential for validity 539; privation 
of membership 541 ; rights of socie 
ties 542; chaplain and prefect 543 J 
suppression 544 ; various kinds 545 ; 
precedence 546. 

ATTEMPTED crime, how far its guilt 
extends 1496 & 1497- 

AUXILIARY bishop 231. 

BAIL, clerics forbidden to furnish bail 
for any one without permission of 
bishop 113. 

BANNS of marriage to be announced 
by the proper pastors of both par- 



ties 865 & 866 ; when and how many 
times 867; mixed marriages as a 
rule not to be announced 869; fac 
ulty of bishop to dispense with the 

871 ; marriage of conscience can 
be allowed only by the Ordinary 

BAPTISM makes one subject to the 
laws of the Church 64; definition 
of solemn and private 580 ; min 
ister 581; subject 588; of fetus 
589 ; abandoned infants 592 ; infants 
of infidels 593; of protestants and 
apostates 594; blessing of baptismal 
font reserved to pastor 307, 7 ; bap 
tism of adults in danger of death 
595; of mentally affected persons 
597. Rites and Ceremonies : bishop 
may allow formula of infant bap 
tism for adults 598; child to be 
baptized in Rite of the parents 599 ; 
in solemn baptism use of baptismal 
water obligatory 600; manner of 
baptizing 601 ; private in danger 
of death 602; name of Saint to be 
given 604 ; Sponsors : should be em 
ployed in solemn and in private 
605; in conditional 606; condi 
tions for valid sponsorship 608; for 
licit sponsorship 609; extent of 
spiritual relationship 611; duties of 
sponsors 612 ; Time and Place : may 
be given any day 615; conditions 
under which solemn baptism may 
be given in private houses 619 ; 
Recording and Proof: pastors must 
keep^ baptismal record, how illegit 
imate children are to be registered 
620; one witness sufficient to prove 

622 ; in baptismal record note to 
be made of ordination to subdeacon- 
ship 854, and of solemn religious 
profession 421 ; Catholics who have 
their children baptized by non- 
Catholic minister are ipso facto ex 
communicated 1602, 3. 

BEATIFICATION, cases of subject 
to S. Congregation of Rites 173; 
process of 1425. 

BELLS, blessing of church 1012. 

BENEFICE, definition of 1252; en 
dowment or revenue 1253; various 
kinds 1254; authority to erect 
1257; conditions made by a bene 
factor in the erection of 1260; 
uniting of several 1262; what 
benefices the bishop cannot unite 
1267, to unite a parish with a re 
ligious by full right requires per 
mission of the Holy See 1268; 
transfer of benefice 1269; division 
of parishes 1270 & 1271 ; pension 
imposed on 1272 ; resignation of 

Beneplacitum of Holy See necessary: 
to give a parish to a Religious Or 
der, or a college 297; to reduce an 
irremovable parish to a removable 
299 ; for the founding of a house of 
exempt religious 342; for contract 
ing of debts by religious if sum is 
over six thousand dollars 379. 

BEQUEST in favor of the Church 1307- 

BIBLE, publishing the or annota 
tions and commentaries without 
permission punished with excom 
munication 1603, i. 

BINATION of Holy Mass not allowed 
except by papal indult or permis 
sion of local Ordinary, who can 
grant it only for Sundays and holi 
days of obligation and never for 
more than two Masses a day 649. 

BIRTH-PLACE, what is considered one s 
birth-place 67. 

BISHOP, dispensations and other fa 
vors refused by cannot validly 
be granted by Vicar General 41; 
what papal rescripts of favors and 
dispensations have to be shown to 
the 43 ; can grant dispensation 
from the common law when re 
course to Rome is difficult 58; from 
particular laws 59 ; residential to 
be called to a General Council 154; 
source of jurisdiction 210; requi 
sites for candidates for Episco- 



pate 212; can exercise jurisdiction 
after taking canonical possession 
215 ; privileges of all 230, i ; 
proper to residential 230, 2 ; what 
is to be done when is hindered 
in the exercise of his jurisdiction 
274; during vacancy 275 & 276; 
not held to ecclesiastical law in pro 
hibition of books 1244 ; can dispense 
others from this law in individual 
cases 1245 ; do not incur suspen 
sions and interdicts latae sententiae 
unless they are explicitly mentioned 

BLESSING, apostolic, may be given by 
any priest assisting the dying 313; 
blessing of baptismal water and of 
houses reserved to pastor 307, 6 & 
7; blessing of baptismal water in 
case of necessity 600; blessing of 
sacred utensils who has the fac 
ulty 1147. 

BOOKS, matter of prohibition of 
subject to Holy Office 167; what 
Catholics may not publish without 
ecclesiastical approval and who is to 
give approval 1228; clergy must 
submit also writings on secular 
topics 1229; on indulgences need 
papal Imprimatur 1231 ; reprints of 
liturgical 1233; translations of 
the Holy Scriptures 1234; duty of 
the censor 1236; how Imprimatur 
is to be printed 1237; right of the 
Church to prohibit 1238 ; forbid 
den by law 1242; Cardinals and 
bishops not bound by ecclesiastical 
law of forbidden 1244; power of 
the bishop to dispense 1245; dis 
pensation of the Holy See 1246- 

BREVIARY, see Divine Office. 

BURIAL, ecclesiastical, bodies of the 
faithful to be buried in consecrated 
ground, cremation forbidden 1046; 
what is meant by 1047 ; persons 
to be denied 1083 & 1084; those 
who give to persons not entitled 
are ipso facto under interdict ab in- 

gressu ecclesiae 1604, 4; see also 

BUSINESS or gainful occupations not 
to be conducted by clerics or by 
others in their name 118. 

Camera Apostolica, its rights and du 
ties 182. 

CANONIZATION, cases of subject 
to S. Congregation of Rites 173; 
process of 1425. 

CARDINALS are to be called to a Gen 
eral Council 154; creation and privi 
leges of 161 ; do not incur penal 
ties unless explicitly mentioned 

CASES, civil and criminal of clerics 
must be judged in the ecclesiastical 
court, permission needed to bring 
suit to civil court 97. 

CASSOCK, see Garb. 

CATECHETICAL instruction, duty of 
pastor, 1172-1176. 

Cathcdraticum, by whom to be paid 

CATHEDRAL chapter, when it has the 
right to elect a vicar capitular 276 
& 277. 

CELEBRANT, see Mass. 

Celebret, unknown priests who wish 
to say Mass in a church must ex 
hibit 647. 

CEMETERIES to be blessed 1048; what 
to be done if State laws do not al 
low Catholic 1049; exempt re 
ligious may have of their own 
1051 ; part to be reserved few the 
clergy and infants 1052; permission 
of bishop needed to transfer bodies 
from 1057; right of the faithful 
to choose for their burial 1066. 

CENSORSHIP, see Books. 

CENSURES, when persons under 
may or may not receive dispensa 
tions and favors 36; definition of 
1525; what offences to be pun 
ished with 1526; appeal from 
1527; how they are multiplied 1528; 
reserved and non-reserved 1529- 



1531 ; absolution in ordinary cir 
cumstances 1532, 1535, 1537; in dan 
ger of death 1536; in urgent cases 
1538; three kinds of 1539 & 1540; 
general principles of excommuni 
cation 1541-1551 ; of interdict 1552- 
1561 ; of suspension 1562-1569. (See 
each censure under its own head 

CESSATION of delegated jurisdiction 
138; of ordinary jurisdiction 139. 

CHANCELLOR, his appointment and of 
fice in the diocese 253. 

CHAPLAIN, military 296; of church 
societies and confraternities 543; 
of institutions 309, 324, 374. 

CHARITY, obligation of the religious 
to support a needy woman for some 
time after she has been dispensed 
from religious vows 488. 

CHILDREN under seven years of age 
not subject to purely ecclesiastical 
laws 12, 65 ; conditions under which 
they are to be admitted to Holy 
Communion 697; under age of 
puberty do not fall under censures 
latae sentcntiae 1514. 

CHRISTMAS, indult to say three Holy 
Masses 649, and to take stipend for 
each 667; indult to say three 
Masses at midnight in religious and 
pious institutions and to give Holy 
Communion 664. 

CHURCH, Catholic, has independent 
right to choose men for ranks of 
the clergy 86 ; what is meant in law 
by the term church 1004; churches 
cannot be built without consent of 
local Ordinary 1005; blessing of 
corner stone reserved to Ordinary 
or major religious superior 1006; 
must be blessed before services can 
be held in 1008; consecration 
1009; titular feast 1010 & 1011 ; loss 
of consecration and blessing 1013, 
1015; reconciliation of desecrated 
1019 & 1020; what is forbidden 
in 1021; right of refuge 1022; 
admission to services must be free 

of charge 1024; church goods and 
their administration 1025 - 1030 ; 
those who celebrate in an inter 
dicted or admit publicly cen 
sured clerics to officiate incur the 
interdict ab ingressu ecclesiae 1604, 


CLERGY, by Divine right distinct from 
the laity 84. 

CLERICS are called those who have 
First Tonsure, various degrees 85; 
must belong either to a diocese or 
a religious community 88; rights 
and privileges 95-99; in major 
orders cannot validly contract mar 
riage 108, 915 ; must say the Divine 
Office in; outward appearance 
112; forbidden to indulge in games 
of chance; to go to saloons 114; 
forbidden without bishop s consent 
to go bail for any person 113; not 
allowed to practice medicine and 
surgery, not to run for public offices 
115 ; must keep away from improper 
theatricals, shows, dances 116; not 
conduct secular business 118; must 
keep residence 118 & 119; punish 
ment for breaking the law of resi 
dence 1452-1459; how are re 
duced to the lay state 142 & 143. 

CLOSED season for marriage 951. 

COADJUTOR bishops 231-236. 

COLLEGE, superior of a not to hear 
confessions of pupils 734. 

COMMON LAW, see Law. 

COMMUNICATION of privileges, gen 
eral principle 49 ; between Religious 
Orders abolished 458. (Communi 
cation in Divine services of non- 
Catholics, see Heresy.) 

COMMUNION, regulation for Holy 
of religious merely directive 44QJ 
priest ordinary minister of , dea 
con with bishop s or pastor s per 
mission for grave reasons 688; be 
fore and after private Mass 689 ; de 
votional of the sick not reserved 
to pastor 692; Holy Viaticum is 
parochial right 693; in case of 



necessity priest can give to the sick 
hosts consecrated by a Rite differ 
ent from his 694; admittance of 
adults 696; of children 697; who is 
not to be admitted 698; confession 
necessary, if in mortal sin and 
there is a possibility 699 ; only once 
a day may be received 700; 
eucharistic fast and dispensation 
for certain cases of illness 701 ; 
Easter obligatory 702; frequent 

urged 706; obligation to receive 
in danger of death 707; may be 
received in any Rite even for Easter 
duty 709; during Mass priest must 
not go out of sight of altar to give 

711; may be given wherever 
Holy Mass is allowed to be said 
712; may be given every day except 
Good Friday, and on Holy Saturday 
only during the Mass or immedi 
ately after it 710. 

COMPETENCY, controversy relative to 
the competency of the S. Congrega 
tions and offices of the Roman Cu 
ria, how to be decided 165. 

COMPROMISE by arbitration 1355. 

CONCORDATS between the Holy See 
and nations remain in force 3. 

CONCUBINAGE, manner of procedure 
against clerics living in 1460- 

CONDITION under which rescripts are 
valid 39; marriage impediment of 

attached to the consent 935. 
CONFERENCES, diocesan, must be at 
tended by all pastors and assistants 
both secular and religious 107 ; con 
ference of bishops of a Province to 
be held every five years 198. 

CONFESSION, duty of the clergy to go 
frequently to 101 ; required as 
a condition for indulgences 774; 
Confession of religious: (i) in 
clerical Orders and congregations: 
confessors to be appointed for each 
house, superior not to hear confes 
sions of his subjects 363; subjects 
jilso of exempt Orders may law 

fully confess to any approved priest 
of the diocese for the sake of peace 
of conscience 364; (2) in houses of 
sisters: a confessor to be ap 
pointed; a special confessor not to 
be refused when asked for by a 
sister 365 ; an extraordinary con 
fessor for each house, other priests 
to be given faculties to hear the 
sisters so that they can be called 
when a sister wants a special con 
fessor 366; in any church, public 
or semi-public oratory the sisters 
may confess to any priest approved 
in the diocese 367; at the time of 
serious illness any approved priest 
may be called by the sister 368; 
otherwise special approval is neces 
sary to validly hear confession in 
a Convent 719; regulations regard 
ing the appointment of ordinary and 
extraordinary confessor 369-372 ; 
(3) in laical religious organizations 
of men: an ordinary and extraor 
dinary to be appointed 373; if the 
Order is exempt, the superior de 
signates the confessor 374. Mani 
festation of conscience not to be 
demanded by superior 375 ; religious 
shall confess once a week 440, 3. 
Persons not ordained priests pre 
suming to hear confessions are ex 
communicated 1600, 3 ; priests who 
hear without jurisdiction are ipso 
facto suspended a divinis, 1607, a. 
CONFIRMATION, how to be given 623; 
holy chrism must be blessed by a 
bishop; anointing not to be done 
with instrument 624; bishop in his 
diocese may also confirm non-sub 
jects 626; obligation of bishop to 
administer 628; conditions for 
valid and licit 629; obligation to 
receive 630; age 631; sponsor 
to be employed, should not present 
more than two candidates 636 & 
637; conditions for valid sponsor 
ship 638; conditions for licit spon 
sorship 639; spiritual relationship 



and duties 640; record and proof 
of 641-643. Priest who attempts 
to give without papal indult is 
to be suspended 1613, 8. 
CONFRATERNITIES, definition of 552 ; 
must be erected by formal decree 
553; only one of the same kind in 
one place, though bishops may al 
low several in large cities; certain 
confraternities to be established in 
every parish 556; forbidden to 
be erected in churches and chapels 
of religious women 557 ; special per 
mission of bishop needed for wear 
ing habit of in sacred functions 
558; bishop has right to confirm or 
annul the election of officers by the 
560; administration of their 
goods 562. 

CONGREGATIONS, Roman, 166-177. 

CONGREGATIONS, religious, of papal 
law, definition of 333, 31 right 
of visitation by the bishop of cler 
ical and laical 357, 2 & 3 5 Procu 
rator General in Rome 362 ; how far 
they are subject to the bishop in 
financial affairs 380; how far they 
are exempt from the jurisdiction of 
the bishop 463 ; need permission of 
the Holy See to go in quest of alms. 

CONSANGUINITY, how degrees are fig 
ured 73 ; impediment of for mar 
riage 919. 

CONSCIENCE, questions of decided 
by S. Penitentiary 178; marriage 
of 947-950. 

CONSECRATIONS can be performed by 
bishop or by priest with papal in 
dult 990; are invalid unless given in 
the prescribed form 991; of a 
bishop without the permission of 
the Holy See punished with sus 
pension 1605, a. 

CONSENT, rules for actions in which 
the of others is required 82. 

CONSENT, matrimonial, marriage ef 
fected by 924; what knowledge 
is necessary for valid 925 J im " 

pediment of error 926-928 ; if essen 
tial qualities of marriage are posi 
tively excluded is invalid 929; 
impediment of fear or force 930 ; 
consent to be. given in words if par 
ties are able to speak 931; by 
proxy 932; condition attached to 
935; supposed to persevere 
even if marriage is invalid by some 
impediment 936. 

CONSTITUTIONS, changes in the of 
diocesan religious congregations 

CONSULTORS, diocesan, to be appointed 
in dioceses where there is no cathe 
dral chapter 268 ; nomination by the 
bishop 269; 271, their number 270; 
duration of office 271 ; take the place 
of the cathedral Chapter and have 
the same rights in government of 
the diocese as the Chapter 272; re 
moval of consultors 273. 
CONSULTORS, parochial, their appoint 
ment and number 262; new ap 
pointments 263; duration of office 
264; removal from office 265; du 
ties 266; in the same case one per 
son cannot act as both examiner 
and parochial consultor 267. 
CONTRACTS, how far error in affects 
the transaction 81 ; civil law on 
to be followed in ecclesiastical mat 
ters 1323; conditions prescribed for 
concerning immovable goods 
1324; what superior can give per 
mission 1326 & 1327; donations by 
rector from church goods, how far 
allowed 1329; sale of church goods, 
how to be conducted 1333 & J3345 
leasing of church property 1335 & 
1336 ; loan from church goods 1337. 
CORNER Stone, blessing of, reserved to 
local Ordinary for non-exempt 
churches, to religious superior for 
exempt churches 1006. 
COUNCIL, General, cannot be held ex 
cept by authority of Roman Pontiff 
153 ; persons to be called to 154 & 
155; Provincial and National sub- 



. ject to approval by S. Congregation 
of the Council 170; Holy See ap 
points a Legate to Plenary 192; 
persons to be called to Plenary 
193; Provincial to be held 
every twenty years 194; archbishop 
convokes Provincial 195; per 
sons to be called to Provincial 

COURT, ecclesiastical, matters subject 
to trial by 1347 ; persons forcing 
into the civil a Cardinal, papal 
Legate, their own Ordinary, incur 
excommunication spcciali modo re 
served to the Holy See 1600, 7; 
bishops, abbots, supreme superiors 
of religious orders, excommunica 
tion reserved simpliciter 1601, 5 ; 
clerics who without permission sue 
a cleric or religious in civil are 
ipso facto suspended from office 
1606, a. 

CRIME, impediment of marriage 918. 

Curia, diocesan, persons constituting 
244; persons to be nominated in 
writing, must take oath 245 & 246. 

CUSTOMS, immemorial, remain unless 
explicitly rejected by the Code; 
ordinary contrary to laws of the 
Code are abolished 5; to become 
law need consent of legislator 25; 
who can introduce 26 ; conditions 
for contra jus 27 ; praeter jus 28 ; 
abrogation of 30. 

DANGER, laws passed to safeguard 
against common of sin oblige 
also those for whom by exception 
there is no danger 21 ; in of 
death any priest may absolve from 
all sin and censures 725. 

Dataria Apostolica, rights and duties 
of this office 181. 

DAY, means in law a period of twen 
ty-four consecutive hours 32. 

DEAN, appointed by bishop 290; re 
movable at will of bishop 291 ; hii 
duty of inspection, in illness or 
death of pastor 292; in reference 

to Conferences 293; report to the 
bishop 294 ; seal of the deanery 295. 

DEANERIES, diocese to be divided into 
districts by bishop 148. 

DEBTS, clergy must not delay to pay 
their 99; religious forbidden to 
contract over six thousand dol 
lars without permission of the Holy 
See 379; who is liable for con 
tracted by religious 381. 

Decimae 1296. 

Defensor vinculi, his rights in mar 
riage cases 1393-1395, 1410; duty to 
appeal 1412. 

DEGRADATION, by penalty of cleric 
is reduced to the lay state 142 ; how 
the penalty is to be inflicted 1589; 
crimes for which is to be in 
flicted 1614. 

DEGREES of consanguinity how to be 
figured 73 ; of affinity 74 ; academi 
cal in ecclesiastical institutions 
of learning subject to S. Congrega 
tion of Seminary and University 
studies 176. 

DELEGATE Apostolic, his rights and 
duties 187 ; expiration of office 188 ; 
privileges 189. 

DELEGATE in the execution of rescripts 
of dispensations and other favors 
46, who acts beyond his commis 
sion acts invalidly 134; what has 
power when several are appointed 
for the same affair 136 & 137. 

DELEGATED jurisdiction, when and how 
ordinary jurisdiction can be dele 
gated 130; in solidum and col- 
legialiter 136; how it ceases 138, 
power of orders cannot be dele 
gated 141. 

DEPARTURE from religious life per 
mitted at expiration of temporary 
vows 482. 

DEPOSITION of a cleric 1587 & 1588; 
crimes for which it is to be inflicted 

DEPUTY, clerics not allowed to seek 
office of without permission of 
bishop 115. 



DESECRATION of a church by certain 
crimes 1015. 

DIMISSORIAL Letters of secular clergy 
801-806; of religious 807-810; 
clerics ordained without are ipsj 
facto suspended 1607, b. 

DIOCESAN Religious Congregations, 
what are 333, 3 ; conditions under 
which bishop can erect 337; can 
not be suppressed except by the 
Holy See 338; bishop can demand 
financial statement 380. 

DIOCESE, erection of reserved to the 
Holy See 146, 168; division of 
into parishes 147. 

DISMISSAL of novices 416; crimes by 
which a religious is dismissed ipso 
facto 491 ; of religious in temporary 
vows in any Order or congregation 
492 ; by temporary vows are dis 
solved 493; of religious in per 
petual vows in non-exempt clerical 
and all laical orders 494-498; of 
religious in perpetual or in solemn 
vows in exempt Orders and congre 
gations 499-513; status of dismissed 
religious who had perpetual vows 

DISPARITY of cult subject to Holy Of 
fice 167; impediment of marriage 
913; dispensation not valid unless 
the promises are made and there is 
grave reason to dispense 904, 914; 
Pauline privilege cannot be made 
use of in marriages with dispensa 
tion from 963; no formal trial 
needed to declare marriage invalid 
on account of 1416. 

DISPENSATION, who may receive 36; 
rescripts of in marriage impedi 
ments 39, 885, 897 ; if asked of one 
Roman Congregation and refused, 
it cannot be asked of another or of 
the bishop 40; refused by the 
Vicar General cannot validly be 
granted by the bishop unless the 
petitioner mentions refusal of Vicar 
41 ; rules concerning of marriage 
impediments 886-900; who can 

grant from the common law 
67 & 58; from particular laws 59; 
how should be given 61 ; inter 
pretation of 62; cessation of 
63; of the Holy See dissolves 
matrimonium ratum non consum- 
matum of Christians 962 ; -of vows 
1155 & 1156. 

DIVINE Office, clerics in major orders 
are obliged sub gram to say in ; 
must be said in choir by all relig 
ious having the obligation of the 
choir ; solemn professed also bound 
to private recitation 455. 

DOCUMENTS, stealing, destroying, etc. 
of of episcopal archives punished 
with excommunication reserved to 
the Holy See simpliciter 1601, u. 

DOMICILE, persons who have or 
quasi-domicile in a diocese are held 
to the particular laws 13; of 
parents determines birth-place of 
children 67; how a is acquired 
69; of wife and minors 70; by 

person obtains proper Ordinary 
and pastor 71 ; loss of 72. 

DONATIONS, by religious to be made 
only by way of alms 382; by pre 
lates and rectors from church goods 
1329; to rectors of churches 
generally presumed to be for the 
church 1330. 

DOUBT, in positive and probable 
the Church supplies jurisdiction 

DOWRY to be furnished by candidates 
in sisterhoods before novitiate 392; 
it is acquired by the religious com 
munity at the death of the sister 
393 ; investment of and account 
to be given to bishop 394 & 395; 

to be returned to a sister who 
leaves religious life 396. 

DUEL, excommunication reserved to 
Holy See simpliciter 1601, 8. 

EASTER Communion obligatory for all 
who have reached the years of dis 
cretion 702; for children obligation 



rests chiefly with parents 703; may 
be received in any Rite and church 
though preferable in one s own 709. 

Economus takes care of the temporal 
affairs of the diocese 287 & 288; in 
religious communities the local su 
perior may in case of necessity hold 
the office of but the Provincial 
and General superior may not 361. 

ENCLOSURE, papal, of obligation in all 
houses of solemnly professed relig 
ious, Provincial and General have 
the right to fix the limits, in houses 
of nuns with solemn vows the 
bishop has right to indicate limits 
442; who may or may not be ad 
mitted inside 443; special rules 
for of nuns 445-448; in 
houses of sisters with simple vows 
449 ; permission of the Holy See re 
quired for absence of religious over 
six months except for cases of 
study 451 ; violation of punished 
with excommunication 1601, 6; ex 
ceptions for highest ruler of coun 
try, for workmen, doctors, etc. 443 
& 445- 

ENGAGEMENT of marriage, conditions 
for its validity 860. 

EQUITY demands that a religious 
woman if poor be supported for 
some time after leaving the relig 
ious community, bishop to decide 
in case of disagreement 488. 

ERROR in rescripts of dispensations 
and favors 42; in actions of 
legal bodies 81 ; in common 
Church supplies jurisdiction 140; 
under what conditions invali 
dates marriage consent 926-928. 

EUCHARISTIC fast for priest, subject 
to Holy Office 167; to be observed 
from midnight 651 ; priests to be 
suspended if they celebrate without 
keeping the 1613, 3. 

EUCHARIST, Blessed, definition of 
644; Holy Mass 645-687, see 
Mass; Eucharist as Sacrament 688- 
712, see Communion. In what 

churches - may be kept 1108-1110, 
how it is to be kept 1111-1116; pri 
vate exposition 1117. 

EXAMINATION, newly ordained priests 
must pass annual for three years 
106; by bishop of candidates for 
novitiate and profession in sister 
hoods 397; before bishop of all 
candidates for orders 839-840; for 
approval for confessions 717. 

EXAMINERS, synodal, appointment and 
number 262 ; new appointments 263 ; 
duration of office 264; removal 
from office 265 ; duties 266 ; may be 
also parochial consultors not, how 
ever, in the same case 267; their 
part in the removal of pastors 1428. 

EXCARDINATION, letter of perpetual 
and unconditional required be 
fore incardination in another dio 
cese 89; Vicar General cannot is 
sue letters of without special 
mandate 90 ; effected by perpet 
ual vows 92, 430; takes effect 
only at the moment of incardination 
in another diocese 93. 

EXCOMMUNICATION, when persons 
under may or may not receive 
dispensations and favors 36; defini 
tion of 1541 ; vitandus and tolera- 
tus 1542; what is forbidden to per 
sons under 1543-1547, 1549 ; con 
cerning the exercise of jurisdiction 
of excommunicated priests 1548; 
e.tcommunicatus vitandus 1550 & 
J55*; reserved to the Holy See 
specialissimo modo 1599; special! 
modo 1600; simpliciter 1601 ; re 
served to the Ordinary 1602 ; not re 
served 1603 ; persons aiding or abet 
ting an excommunicaius vitandus 
fall into reserved to the Holy 
See simpliciter 1601, 4 ; ferendae 
sententiae 1611. 

EXECUTOR in rescripts 43 & 46. 

EXEMPTION, bishop may exempt re 
ligious houses and pious institutions 
from jurisdiction of pastor 309; re 
ligious organizations having the 



privilege of 345; extent of the 
bishop s right of visitation of ex 
empt religious 357; Orders of men 
and women with solemn vows are 
exempt 460 ; the religious must obey 
the bishop s law concerning Mass 
stipends 674. 

EXPOSITION of Blessed Sacrament, 
public and private when allowed 
1117; Forty Hours 1118. 

FACULTIES granted to bishop belong 
also to Vicar General, how they are 
to be interpreted 50; how they are 
conceded and how they are to be 
used 132 ; for the internal forum 
do not cease if one did not advert 
to expiration of 138; of Car 
dinals 161; of bishops 230. 

FAST and abstinence days for the Uni 
versal Church appointed exclusively 
by the Holy See 1087; power of 
bishop, pastor, religious superior to 
dispense 1088; law of fast 1094; 
fast and abstinence days, and fast 
only 1095 ; who is bound to law of 


FAVORS, who may receive 36; if 
asked of one Roman Congregation 
and refused they cannot be asked 
of another or of the bishop 40; if 
refused by the Vicar General they 
cannot be asked of the bishop with 
out making known refusal of the 
Vicar 41 ; how the power to bestow 

is to be used 132. 

FEAR, actions of legal bodies done by 
grave unjust may be annulled 80 ; 
clerics who receive major orders 
through are free from the obli 
gations of sacred orders 108, 145; 
marriage contracted through is 
invalid 930. 

FEES, besides the customary stole- 
no charges can be made for the 
administration of the Sacraments 
579; see Tax. 

Fetus, baptism of the in difficult 
child-birth 589-591. 

FORCE, how it affects actions of legal 
bodies 80 ; those who another to 
enter religious life or the clerical 
state are ipso facto excommunicated 
1603, 4. 

FORM of marriage contract, before 
proper pastor or Ordinary and two 
witnesses 937; conditions for valid 
assistance of pastor and Ordinary 
938; delegation to assist 939; con 
ditions for licit assistance 940 ; mar 
riage without bishop or priest 941 ; 
persons bound to Catholic of 
marriage 942. 

FORTY Hours devotion 1118. 

Forum, clerics enjoy the privilege of 
the ecclesiastical 97 & 99; juris 
diction of the internal and external 

133; jurisdiction of the internal 

does not cease in case of inad 
vertence to expiration of faculties 
138; S. Penitentiary grants faculties 
for internal 178. 

FOUNDATION, pious, definition of 
1338; permission of Ordinary re 
quired to accept 1340; to be 
made in writing 1342; in churches 
of exempt religious major superior 
has charge of 1344 ; reduction of 
obligations 1345. 

FUGITIVE from religious life, defini 
tion of 489; if cleric in major 
orders he is ipso facto suspended 
1606, b. 

FUNERAL services reserved to pastor 
307, 5 ; if possible the body is to be 
brought to church 1058; which 
church is entitled to the 1059 & 
1060; when a person dies outside 
his parish 1061 ; of Cardinals 
and bishops 1062; of religious 
1064; right of Catholics to choose 
any church for 1066; exceptions 
for children and professed reli 
gious 1067; further particulars for 
choice of church for 1068-1072; 
obligation of priest to accompany 
body to cemetery 1074; clergy not 
to carry body of lay people of 



any rank 1076; funeral charges 
to be regulated by the bishop 
1077; the poor to be buried free 
of charge 1078; part of fees 
due to proper pastor if deceased 
wished to be buried from another 
church 1079 & 1080; record of 
the deceased 1081 ; persons to whom 
ecclesiastical is to be denied 
1082-1084; excommunication against 
those who force burial from church 
of persons not entitled to ecclesi 
astical burial 1603, 2; those who 
of their own accord give ecclesias 
tical burial to persons not so en 
titled incur ipso facto interdict ab 
ingressu ecclesiae 1604, 4- 

GAMES of chance forbidden to the 
clergy 114. 

GARB, clerics are obliged to wear 
clerical attire 112; penalties fertn- 
dae sententiae for breaking this law 
1613, 12. 

GOODS, temporal, of religious Orders 
and congregations, right to acquire 
and possess 376; power of admin 
istration of the superior 377 ; condi 
tions under which sisterhoods may 
make investments 378; for contract 
ing of debts over six thousand dol 
lars beneplacitum of the Holy See 
is required 379; annual account of 
finances to be given to bishop by 
sisters in solemn vows, by diocesan 
congregations and also by other 
religious if they handle parish 
and charity funds 380; liability for 
debts 381 ; donations by religious 
382; renunciation of by novices 
invalid 413 ; when and how renun 
ciation is to be made 425 & 426; 
obligation of solemnly and simply 
professed 427 & 428; common 
treasury 439 ; concerning of a re 
ligious in case of transition to an 
other Order 480. Temporal goods 
of the Church, right of the Church 
to acquire and possess 1289; right 
to demand support from the people 

1290; ownership 1293; private indi 
viduals collecting for church pur 
poses need authorization 1297; ca- 
thedraticum, by whom to be paid 
1298; seminary tax, by whom to be 
paid 1299; bequests in favor of the 
Church 1307-1309; administration 
1312-1322; alienation 1324-1329; 
mortgage 1332; persons who un 
justly retain are tpso facto ex 
communicated 1601, 7. 

HABIT, religious obliged to wear the 


HERESY, definition of 1168; excom 
munication of heretics 1600, i ; sus 
picion of for certain offences 
1616, other penalties inflicted for 
heresy 1618, i. 

HOLIDAYS of obligation for Universal 
Church appointed by Holy See ex 
clusively; bishops per modum actus 
1087 ; power of bishop and pastor to 
dispense 1088; number of - - in 
Universal Church except where spe 
cial arrangement has been made by 
Holy See 1090; obligation of hear 
ing Mass and rest from servile 
work 1091 & 1092. 

HOLY SEE, what is meant by the term 
7; powers reserved to in the 
erection of dioceses 146; in the es 
tablishment of diocesan religious 
congregations 337; in the erection 
of Provinces of religious 339; ex 
communication reserved speciali 
modo for impeding the exercise of 

or its Legate and for usurpation 
of the goods and rights of the 
1600, 5 & 9. 

HONESTY, public, diriment impediment 
of marriage 921. 

HOSPITAL, see Institutions. 

HOSTS, abuse of consecrated pun 
ished with excommunication re 
served to Holy See specialissimo 
modo 1599, i. 

HOUSE, various kinds of religious 
houses 333, 5; permission of diocc- 



san and other congregations to es 
tablish - given by bishop 340; 
exempt religious need both bishop s 
permission and that of the Holy 
See 342; opening of schools and 
charitable institutions subject to 
bishop 342; suppression of a re 
ligious 343. 

HUNTING on a large scale forbidden 
to the clergy 114. 

IGNORANCE of invalidating or inhabili- 
tating laws does not excuse from 
invalidity of the actions 16; how 
f ar affects the responsibility for 
offences 1486; how far it excuses 
from the penalties of law 1513. 

ILLEGITIMATES, when are children con 
sidered 957-96o; cannot be 
promoted to Cardinalate, Episcopate 
212; same rule applies to abbots and 
prelates nullius; cannot be major 
superiors in religious Orders 349. 

ILLNESS no reason for dismissal of re 
ligious 492; person ill for a month 
may receive Holy Communion twice 
a week without fasting 701. 
IMPEDIMENTS of marriage, some 
subject to Holy Office 167; to the S. 
Congregation of the Sacraments 
169; of major and minor degree 
885; public and occult 880; faculty 
of dispensation of bishop and priest 
in danger of death 886 & 887 ; fa 
culty of bishop and priest in per 
plexing cases 888 & 889; rules for 
interpretation of dispensations 890- 
900; legitimation of offspring 894; 
impedient 901 & 902 ; mixed mar 
riages are strictly forbidden 903; 
conditions under which mixed mar 
riages are permitted 94-907J diri 
ment 910-935; fo rm of contract 
937-946; Pauline privilege o6>97(X 

IMPOTENCE, impediment of marriage 
911 ; manner of proving invalidity of 
marriage for reason of 1402-1408. 

INCARMNATION takes place at tht re 

ception of First Tonsure 88; 
from another diocese must be done 
in writing to be valid 89; Vicar 
General cannot grant without 
special mandate 90 ; implied 91 ; 
conditions of 94; of secular 
ized religious 486. 

Incola, a person who lives in the place 
of domicile 68. 

I NDIS SOLUBILITY of consummated 
marriage of Christians 961 ; non- 
consummated marriage is dissolved 
by solemn religious profession and 
by dispensation of the Holy See 

INDULGENCES, questions of subject 
to the Sacred Penitentiary 178; 
Concession: Supreme Pontiff and 
those whom he gives the power can 
grant 755 ; faculty to give papal 
blessing 757 & 758; privileged altar 
759-76i ; new not to be published 
without permission of bishop 762; 

granted by Roman Pontiff to be 
submitted to S. Penitentiary 763; 
translation of feast to which is at 
tached 765 ; time for granting 766 ; 

attached to places or to sacred ob 
jects 767. Manner of gaining indul 
gences: conditions 768; if Plenary 
is not gained, partial may be 
gained 769; Plenary can be gained 
only once a day 77 l ; religious may 
gain in their own church or ora 
tory 772 ; cannot be applied for the 
living by another 773; when Con 
fession and Communion is to be 
made for gaining 7745 gd 
works prescribed must not be obli 
gatory for other reasons, by indul- 
genced prayers said for sacramental 
penance can be gained 775; by 
one and the same good work several 
cannot be gained 776; prayer for 
the intention of the Holy Father 
777; confessor may commute good 
works 778; how mutes are to say 
the prayers 779 5 hooks and leaflets 
on need imprimatur of Ordinary 



1231 ; profiteers from are ipso 
facto excommunicated 1601, i. 

INDULTS granted by the Holy See re 
main in force unless explicitly re 
called in the Code 4. 

INFAMY of law, penalty of 1577- 
1579; when incurred ipso facto 1608. 

INFIDELS, infants of may be bap 
tized under certain conditions 593. 

INSANE, baptism of persons whose 
mind is affected 597 ; irregularity in 
ordination 827, 3. 

INSTITUTIONS of charity subject to S. 
Congregation of the Council 170; 
are established by authority of local 
Ordinary 1283 ; attached to a re 
ligious house 1285; even exempt 
charitable must make financial 
statement to bishop 1286. 

INTERDICT, definition 1552; what au 
thority can issue 1553; what is 
forbidden by a local 1554; what 
services are allowed under a local 
general 1555 ; under a local par 
ticular 1556; on a community 
1558; what is forbidden to those 
under personal 15591 what the 
ab ingressu ecclesiae imports 
1561 ; incurred ipso facto 1604. 

INTERPRETATION of Canon Law, au 
thoritative 17; private how to be 
made 18 & 20 ; laws enacting penal 
ties interpreted in restrictive sense 
19; of the power of jurisdiction 


INTERPRETER, making one s confession 
by is optional, he is bound to the 
seal of confession 746; Marriage 
may be contracted through 933. 

INTERRUPTION of Novitiate 401. 

INTERVALS between reception of vari 
ous orders, 821. 

INVALIDATING or inhabilitating laws 
are those onhy which explicitly state 
to have this effect n. 

IRREGULARITIES barring from Ordina 
tions, ex defectu 827; ex delict o 
828; ignorance of does not ex 
cuse 831 ; multiple 832; faculty of 

dispensation of bishop and confes 
sor 833; petition and interpretation 
of dispensation from 834. 
IRREMOVABLE pastors and parishes 299 ; 
formalities in depriving pastor of 
parish 1431-1440. 

JURISDICTION, Church has both for 
the external government of the 
faithful and the internal forum 
by Divine right 127; ordinary 

128 & 129; delegated 130 
& 131 ; interpretation of power 
of 131 ; can be exercised in favor 
of subjects only 132 ; in the exter 
nal forum 133; judicial power can 
not be exercised in one s own favor 
or outside one s territory 132; 
delegated either in solidum or col- 
legialiter 136; how delegated 
ceases 138; how ordinary ceases 
139 ; supplied by the Church 140 ; 

of Roman Pontiff extends over 
the whole Church 149; major cases 
reserved to the of Roman Pontiff 
151; of General Council 159; 
of the Holy Office 167; civil au 
thorities and those who cause them 
to hinder of the Church are ex 
communicated 1600, 6. 

KEY to the archives of the episcopal 
Curia and by whom to be kept 260 ; 

to the Tabernacle to be guarded 
by priest 1 1 12. 

LAITY has right to receive the spiritual 
services of the clergy 527; laymen 
not allowed to wear Ecclesiastical 
garb except seminarians and those 
employed in church service 528. 

LATIN Rite, laws of the Code obliga 
tory only for Catholics of I. 

LANGUAGE, parishes not to be divided 
according to different of people, 


LAW, General principles of Canon 
1-63; liturgical published prior 
to Code to remain in force 2; par 
ticular and general contrary to 



Code abolished 6 & 22; former 

enacting censures and other 
penalties not contained in the Code 
are abolished 6, 3; promulgation 
of , territorial and personal 8 ; 

are made for the future and 
have no retroacting effect unless 
the Code explicitly states this 10; 
invalidating and inhabilitating 
are those only which explicitly 
state to have this effect n ; general 

binding Catholics everywhere, 
particular those only who have 
domicile or quasi-domicile in the 
diocese or county, 13; dispensation 
from the common can be 
granted by the Holy See only 58. 

LAWYER, clerics not allowed to act as 

except in the Ecclesiastical 
Court or in defense of their own 
church 115. 

LEGAL or moral persons, how consti 
tuted 76 & 77; how they must act 
in elections, etc. 78; are per 
petual; how extinguished 79; P ro ~ 
hibitions from legal actions in 
curred by certain offenses 1540 & 

LEGATES of the Holy See, right of 
Supreme Pontiff to send -- with 
power of jurisdiction 185; a 
latere 186; duties of 187; privi 
leges 189 ; titular have no special 
rights 190. 

LEGITIMATE children, who are con 
sidered as such 957-96. 

LETTERS, written by Religious, when 
exempted from inspection of the 
superiors 456; falsifying of papal 

punished with excommunication 
1600, 10. 

Ligaminis impediment urn 912, mar 
riage made invalid by this impedi 
ment needs no canonical trial 1416. 

LINE of consanguinity and affinity 
how figured 73 & 74- 

LITANIES, bishop cannot approve new 

for public use 1102. 
LITURGY, laws of not changed by 

the Code except in points specially 
mentioned 2; questions of sub 
ject to S. Congregation of Rites 
173; Clerics in major orders who 
in grave matters break the laws of 
are to be suspended 1613, n. 

LOAN from Church goods, no interest 
can be charged, if it is purely a 
loan 1337. 

Loss of domicile or quasi-domicile 
72; loss of good reputation in 
curred ipso facto by certain crimes 

MAJOR age, age of twenty-one years 
completed 65 & 66. 

MANDATE by which delegated juris 
diction is given determines extent 
of power 134. 

MANIFESTATION of conscience forbid- 
bidden to be exacted by religious 
superiors 375. 

MARRIAGE, dispensations in impedi 
ments of when valid 39; clerics 
in major orders cannot validly con 
tract 108; impediment of dis 
parity of cult; mixed religion and 
Pauline privilege subject to Holy 
Office 167; other impediments sub 
ject to the Sacred Congregation 
of the Sacraments 169; to assist at 
right of pastor 307, 45 Sacra 
ment of marriage, contract of bap 
tized person 855; essential quali 
ties 856 ; definition of matrimoniiim 
ratum, consiiwmatum, legitiwum, 
putativum 858; contract valid by 
the law of God and Canon Law 
859; conditions for validity of 
engagement 860; requisites before 
; status liber 862 & 863; baptis 
mal certificate 864; banns 866-873; 
course of action in doubtful impedi 
ment 874; instruction of young 
couple 876; children forbidden to 
marry against reasonable objec 
tion of parents 877. Impediments 
in general, 878-884; major and 
minor impediments 885; faculties 



of dispensation of bishop and priest 
886 & 887; in perplexing cases 888; 
rules for interpretation of dispen 
sations of impediments 889-899; 
restriction of faculties of bishops 
in recent decree 900. Impedient 
impediments 901-909; diriment im 
pediments 910-923 ; matrimonial 
consent 924-936; form of contract 
937-946 ; marriage of conscience 947- 
950; time and place 951 & 952; 
consequences of 953-960 ; separa 
tion, dissolution, privilegium Pou- 
linum 961-975; simple validation 
976-980; sanatio in radice 981-984; 
record of marriage 985 & 986; 
Clerics in major orders and relig 
ious in solemn vows attempting 
excommunicated 1601, 9; before 
a Protestant minister punished with 
excommunication 1602, I. 

MASONS, excommunicated, 1601, 3. 

MASS, application for the people by 
the bishop 220; by the pastor 311. 
The Celebrant: Priests only can 
offer the Holy Sacrifice 645; con- 
celebration allowed only in ordina 
tion of priests and consecration of 
bishops 646; when priest wishes to 
say Mass in a church where he is 
unknown he must exhibit Celebret 
647; obligation of every priest to 
say several times a year 648; 
bination 649; confession of mortal 
sin before saying 650; eucharis- 
tic fast 651 ; for whom may be 
applied 652; preparation and 
thanksgiving 653 ; cap or ring at 
permitted only by indult and to 
certain dignitaries 654; when assis 
tant priest is allowed 655 ; should 
not be said without a server 656. 
Rites and ceremonies : Pure wheat 
bread, and wine mixed with water 
657 & 658; priest must follow his 
own Rite wherever he celebrates, 
659; one species only never to be 
used 660. Time and place 663-666; 
stipends 667-687. 

MASTER of Novicci, qualifications and 
duties 404-410; master and sub- 
master not allowed to hear confes 
sions of novices 734. 

MATRIMONIAL cases of baptized per 
sons subject exclusively to the 
Church 1386; merely civil conse 
quences of marriage judged by civil 
authority 1387; privilegium Pauli- 
num and cases of matrimonium 
ratum et non consummatum exclu- 
iively subject to the Holy See 1388- 
1389; constitutions of the diocesan 
tribunal for 1392-1395 ; who has 
right to demand trial for nullity of 
marriage 1396-1399; witnesses 1400 
& 1401 ; bodily inspection in cases 
of impotence 1402-1408; appeal ob 
ligatory when marriage is declared 
invalid 1412-1415; cases excepted 
from regular form of canonical trial 

MEDICINE, clergy forbidden to prac 
tise 115. 

MEDITATION, duty of clergy to make 
daily 101. 

METROPOLITAN, see Archbishop. 

MILITARY service forbidden to clerics 

MINOR AGE, persons under twenty-one 
years of age 65 & 66; domicile of 
minors 70. 

MISSIONS and its districts in charge 
of the S. Congregation of the Pro 
pagation of Faith 172; rriission in 
parishes to be held at least once 
in ten years 1192. 

MIXED RELIGION, impediment, subject 
to Holy Office 167; no sacred rites 
allowed in mixed marriages 945 ; 
not to be contracted in a church, 
but the bishop may for a very seri 
ous reason allow it without Mass 
952; conditions under which dis 
pensation is granted 904. 

MODERNISM, Oath against and other 
regulations on this subject to re 
main in force until Holy See shall 
decide otherwise 6. 



MONITION in trials of removal of pas 
tors 1427. 
MONTH, in law is a period of thirty 

days, 32. 

MORAL PERSONS, see Legal. 
MORALS, questions of , subject to 

Holy Office 167. 
MORTGAGE, permission required to 

place church property under 


Music in church 1107. 
MUTES, how they are to say prayers 

to gain indulgences 779- 

NAME, in baptism name of a Saint 

should be given 604. 
NON-CATHOLIC, Catholic parents who 
bring up their children in a sect 
are excommunicated 1602, 4; not 
subject to Catholic form of mar 
riage 942; marriage of Catholic 
with 903-907, 914; may not re 
ceive the Sacraments 574; ma y 
receive some sacramentals 092. 
NOTARY, the chancellor is in virtue of 
his office a 253; appointment of 
other 254 ; duties of 255 ; his 
part in cases of removal of pastors 

NOVITIATE, year of , how reckoned, 
first day not counted 34, 3 5 condi 
tions for valid admission in all Or 
ders and congregations 387, i ; for 
licit admission 387, II ; "ght to * d " 
mit candidates belongs to major 
superior 388; certificates and testi 
monials required before admission 
389-391; dowry of candidates in 
sisterhoods 392-39$; h w the ~" be ~ 
gins 398; house of appointed by 
Holy See 399; conditions for valid 
400 ; interruption 401 J qualifica 
tions of Master of Novices 404; his 
duties 405-410; confession of nov 
ices 411; novices not to be pro 
moted to orders 412; renunciation 
of temporal rights 4UJ dismissal 
of novices 416; perpetually secular 
ized religious need indult of Holy 

See to be received again into the 
Order and must make their novi 
tiate and profession over again 485. 

Nuntius, or Internuntius, are legates 
of the Holy See to nations standing 
in diplomatic relation with the Holy 
See 187; expiration of office 188; 
privileges 189. 

NUPTIAL blessing 944. 

OATH, definition 1159; obligation 
1160; cessation of obligation 1162; 
dispensation, commutation 1 163 ; 
persons neglecting to make their 
profession of faith demanded for 
certain offices lose their salary 1609, 
2 ; against Modernism 6. 
OBEDIENCE, clergy owe to their Or 
dinaries 103. 
OBLIGATIONS of clerics 100-120. 

(See Clerics.) 

OCEAN, hearing confessions on the 
726; the privilege to celebrate every 
where does not include permission 
to say Mass on the 665; Car 
dinals and Bishops have faculty to 
celebrate Mass on the 161, 8, & 

OFFENCES, nature and division of - 
1479-1482; responsibility, aggravat 
ing and extenuating circumstances, 
juridical effects of 1483-1495- 
OFFICE, see Divine Office. 
OFFICE or work imposed on a cleric 
by the bishop cannot be abandoned 
without his permission 104; defini 
tion of ecclesiastical 121 ; mus 
be obtained by lawful appointment 
I22 - -with care of souls can be 
given only to priests 123 Unlawful 
conferring of -125; -which are 
not considered benefices 1255; loss 
of - incurred ipso facto 1610. 
OILS Holy must not be older than 
one year; non-consecrated - may 
be added to consecrated 577 5 
pastor must obtain them from his 
own bishop, keep them in church. 



not in his private house, except if 
Ordinary permits 578. 

ORATORY, definition and various kinds 
1031 ; private chapels of Cardinals 
and bishops considered semi-public 
in law 1032; semi-public 1035 & 
1036; private chapels 1037-1039; in 
what chapels one can fulfil the obli 
gation of hearing Mass 1092. 

ORDERS, power of cannot be dele 
gated 141 ; Sacrament of distin 
guishes clergy from laity 791 ; major 
and minor 792. Minister: ordi 
nary minister is the bishop, others 
by privilege 794; consecration of 
bishop reserved to Holy See 796; 
proper bishop of the candidates 798 
& 799; prefects and vicars-apostolic, 
abbots and prelates nullius have the 
same right as the bishop if they 
have episcopal consecration 800; 
who can give dimissorial letters 
801 ; further regulations about the 
dimissorial letters of the secular 
clergy 803-806; of the religious 
807-810. Subject of Ordination: 
Baptized men who are free from 
irregularity 8n; must have stayed 
in the seminary at least for the 
course of theology 815 ; tonsure and 
minor orders must not be given 
unless candidate intends to ascend 
to priesthood 816; requisites for 
licit ordination 817; for major or 
ders 818; previous studies required 
for the various orders 819; prohibi 
tion to confer various orders on the 
same day 821 ; canonical title for 
secular clergy 822-824 ; for religious 
825 ; irregularities ex defects 827 ; 
ex delicto 828; simple prohibitions 
830; ignorance of irregularity does 
not excuse 831 ; multiple irregular 
ity 832; faculty of dispensation of 
bishop and confessor 833; how to 
petition and interpret dispensations 
from irregularities 834. Requisites 
prior to ordination : testimonial let 
ters 836-838; seculars and religious 

must pass examinations before the 
bishop 839 & 840; publication of 
names of seculars in their proper 
parish 841; retreat before major 
and minor orders 844. Rites and 
Ceremonies: Pontificate must be 
strictly followed 845; Mass of ordi 
nation or consecration of bishop to 
be said by ordaining bishop 846; 
those promoted to major orders 
must receive Holy Communion in 
the ordination Mass 848. Time and 
Place: ordination days 849; defect 
in ordinations can be supplied any 
day 850; outside his diocese bishop 
needs consent of local Ordinary 
851 ; general ordinations should be 
given in cathedral 852. Record and 
testimonial of ordination : names 
and orders conferred are to be kept 
in diocesan archives; those or 
dained are to receive certificate 853 ; 
notice to be sent to pastor of church 
where the newly ordained sub- 
deacons were baptized 854. Cases 
against validity of ordination 1419- 
1424 ; suspension falls on those who 
receive orders from a bishop who is 
under public censure, or from an 
apostate, or schismatic 1605, c ; 
various suspensions for unlawful 
ordination of candidates 1605, d. 

ORDINARY, who is meant by the term 
129; for the rest see Bishop. 

ORIENTAL, Congregation of the Ori 
ental Church i & 177. 

PARENTS, children of infidels, Protest 
ants, or apostate Catholics shall 
not be baptized unless there is some 
guarantee of Catholic education 
593 & 594; children forbidden to 
marry against reasonable objection 
of 877- 

PARISHES, diocese to be divided into 
147; cannot be given by bishop 
to religious without papal indult 
297; not to be left vacant for a 
long time 303; division of 1270; 



recourse tn Holy See against divi 
sion of 1271 ; pension imposed on 
a 1272; pastor s right to live 
from the revenue of the 1277 & 

PASTORS, from what laws they can 
dispense 60; who are real also 
in the United States 147; rights of 
a religious appointed as 475 & 
476. Definition of the term "pas 
tor" 296; must be a priest 298; 
irremovable and removable 299 ; 

appointed from a religious com 
munity 299; appointment of 300 
& 304 ; taking possession of the of 
fice 306; parochial rights 307; 
bishop may exempt hospitals, etc., 
from jurisdiction of 309; ob 
liged to keep residence, two months 
vacation, if he leaves the parish for 
more than one week he needs per 
mission of Bishop 310; on what 
days he must apply Mass for the 
parishioners 311 ; parochial vicar, 
who is meant by the term 316 & 
317; assistants to the 320-322; 

have the right to bless sacred 
utensils 1147; trial for removal of 
irremovable 1431-1440; of re 
movable 1441-1445; penalties 
against neglectful in the paro 
chial duties 1466-1469; who incites 
the people against the bishop is to 
be suspended 1613, 5. 

PATRIARCH to be called to General 
Council 154, 2; has no superior 
jurisdiction 191. 

PATRONAGE, right of, not to be con 
ceded in future 1275. 

PAULINE Privilege subject to Holy 
Office 167; dissolves marriage of 
unbaptized, cannot be applied when 
a Catholic marries an unbaptized 
person with dispensation 963; in 
terpellation 964-966; privilege not 
lost if baptized party lived in mar 
riage for some time after conver 
sion 967 ; marriage solved at the mo 
ment of new marriage 969; in 

doubtful cases the Pauline privilege 
enjoys the favor of the law 970. 
PAYMENT, religious who either leave 
of their own accord or are dis 
missed, or secularized, cannot de 
mand for work done in the re 
ligious community 488. 

PENALTIES, ecclesiastical, bishop may 
punish religious with in matters 
in which they are subject to him 
464; definition 1499; species 1500 & 
1501 ; application 1502 & 1507 ; in 
terpretation 1503; persons subject 
to 1510-1519; how far ignorance 
excuses from 1513; in what man 
ner incurred ipso facto bind 
1516; who has power to remit 
1520-1523; prescription of offences 
1517 & 1524; censures 1525-1569; 
excommunication 1541-1551 ; inter 
dict 1552-1561 ; suspension 1562- 
1569; punitive penalties (poenae 
vindicativae) 1570; appeal from 
1571 ; cessation and dispensation 
1573; faculty of confessor in urgent 
cases 1574; penalties for both lay 
men and clerics 1575; infamy of 
law 1577-1579; punitive special to 
the clergy 1582-1589; penal remedies 
1590-1595; penances 1596 & 1507. 
List of excommunications reserved 
to the Holy See specialissimo modo 
!599i speciali modo 1600; simpli- 
citer 1601 ; reserved to the Ordinary 
1602; not reserved 1603. List of 
interdicts incurred ipso facto 1604; 
suspension ipso facto 1605; infamy 
of law ipso facto 1608; loss of 
salary 1609; loss of office or bene 
fice 1610. Penalties ferendae sen 
tential : excommunication 1611; in 
terdict 1612; suspension 1613; de 
gradation 1614; deposition 1615: 
suspicion of heresy 1616; prohibi 
tions from legal actions **; vnri- 
ous other penalties ferendae sen- 
tentiae 1618. 

PENANCE, Sacrament, definition 713. 
Minister : Must be a priest 714; be- 



sides valid ordination also jurisdic 
tion required 715; those who have 
ordinary jurisdiction 716; delegated 
jurisdiction 717; in clerical exempt 
Orders the superior gives jurisdic 
tion for absolving his subjects 718; 
special jurisdiction required to va- 
lidly hear confession of sisters in 
their convents 719; reasons for re 
calling faculties 720-723; limitation 
of faculties 721 ; he who has ordi 
nary jurisdiction may absolve his 
subjects everywhere 724; every 
priest has faculties to absolve per 
sons in danger of death from all 
sins and censures 725 ; confession on 
the ocean 726; absolution of priest s 
accomplice 727; the prayers at 
tached to the form of absolution 
should not lightly be omitted 728; 
if there is no serious reason to deny 
or defer absolution it must be 
granted 729; penance should be in 
proportion to sins and circumstances 
of the penitent 730; sacramental 
seal 732 & 733; master of novices, 
sub-master, superior of college and 
seminary not to hear confessions of 
their subjects 734; obligation of 
pastor to hear confessions 735. Re 
servation of sins : Persons having 
ordinary power to give faculties to 
others can restrict them 736; papal 
reservation 737; how Ordinaries 
may reserve sins 738 ; reserved cases 
in Religious Orders 739; cases al 
ready reserved to the Holy See 
should not be made episcopal cases 
741 ; facukies of pastors for Easter 
tide and of missionaries during the 
missions to absolve from the 
bishop s reserved cases 742 ; circum 
stances under which the reserva 
tions of the bishop cease 743. 

PENITENTIARY, the Sacred, rights and 
powers of this tribunal 178. 

Peregrin*, who are , how they ar 
held to the particular laws of a dio 

cese or country in which they are 
sojourning 14 & 68. 

PERSONAL laws are binding in any 
place 8. 

PERSONS subject to the laws of the 
Church 64; how legal are con 
stituted in the Church 76 & 77; 
actions of legal 78. 

Pious UNIONS, definition 552, may be 
erected with the approval of the 
bishop 553. 

PLACE of birth 67. 

PLACES, sacred, definition 997; con 
secration of reserved to local 
Ordinary 998 ; blessing of cannot 
be done without consent of local 
Ordinary 1000. 

PONTIFF, ROMAN, has supreme power 
of jurisdiction over the Universal 
Church 149; obtains his power by 
Divine right as soon as he accepts 
his legitimate election 150; major 
cases reserved to judgment of 
151 ; obedience of religious to 
344 ; personal attack on the pun 
ished with excommunication re 
served specialissimo modo 1599, 2; 
appeal from the laws and orders of 

to a General Council punished 
with excommunication reserved spe- 
ciali modo 1600, 4. (Cf. Holy See.) 

PONTIFICALS, meaning of the term, 
bishop can pontificate in every 
church in his diocese, outside it he 
needs permission of the local Ordi 
nary 218; he can confirm his own 
subjects in another diocese without 
permission if he does not use the 

626; Cardinals have the permis 
sion to use the everywhere out 
side the City of Rome 161, 15. 

POSTULATE, six months prescribed 
for all sisterhoods with perpetual 
vows and in Orders and congrega 
tions of men for the lay-brothers 
384; need not be spent in house of 
novitiate 385; retreat of eight days 
before entering novitiate 386. 

POWER of jurisdiction can be exercised 



only in favor of subjects 132. (See 

PREACHING, office of 1170 & 1171; 
faculty to preach given by local 
Ordinary to secular and regular 
clergy nSo; the religious superior 
of an exempt Order can grant fac 
ulty only to preach to the religious 
subject to him, not to sisterhoods 
or other Orders of men 1181 ; recall 
of the faculty 1183; in another dio 
cese faculty must be obtained from 
bishop on recommendation of proper 
Ordinary to the priest who wishes 
to preach outside his own diocese, 
pastor who invites extern priest for 
preaching must apply for faculty 
1184; duty of pastor to preach on 
Sundays and holidays of obligation 

PRECEDENCE, Cardinals precede all 
Patriarchs, Archbishops and Papal 
Legates unless these latter are Car* 
dinals 161, 21 ; Bishop in his own 
diocese precedes all Archbishops 
and Bishops except his own Arch 
bishop 228; of Religious 336. 
PRECEPTS cannot be urged in ecclesi 
astical Court unless given in form 
of legal document or before two 
witnesses 24 ; of the Church sub- 
ject to the Sacred Congregation of 
the Council 170. 

PREFECTS, Apostolic 198; have the 
same power of jurisdiction as the 
bishop, and if they are consecrated 
bishops they have the same power 
also for ordinations 800. 
PRELATES nullius to be called to Gen 
eral Council 154, 3 I meaning of the 
term 206; their rights and duties 

PRESCRIPTION 1302; matters not sub 
ject to 1303 & !34; time re 
quired 1305; good faith 1306; 
against penalties for offences 1517 
& 1524. 

PRIMARY UNIONS, definition 552 ; they 
can affiliate Pious Unions 564 ; what 

indulgences are communicated by 
affiliation 565; conditions for va 
lidity of affiliation 566; Holy See 
alone can establish 568. 
PRIMATES to be called to General 
Council 154, 2; have no superior 
power of jurisdiction 190. 
Primitiae 1296. 

PRINCIPLES, general, of law, 1-63. 
PRIVILEGES, granted by Holy See re 
main in force unless explicitly re 
called in the Code 4; how are 
acquired 49 ; how to be interpreted 
50 & 51 ; revocations of 53 ; cessa 
tion 54-56; of clerics 95-99; loss 
of clerical by reduction to the 
lay state 144; of Cardinals 161 ; 
of bishops 230 & 900; of re 
ligious 458-470. 

PROCEDURE for removal of irremova 
ble pastors 1431-1440; of removable 
pastors 1441-1445; for transfer of 
pastors 1446-1451 ; against clerics 
not keeping residence 1452-1459; 
against clerics living in concubinage 
1460-1465; against neglectful pas 
tors 1466-1469. 
PROCESSIONS, definition 1133; Corpus 

Chris ti 1134. 

PROCURATOR sent to take the place of a 
person called to General Council 
155; for the administration of 
the goods of religious in each house, 
province and at the Curia of the 
General 361 ; general for each 
Order and Congregation 362. 
PROFESSION of Faith, persons held to 

make it 1249. 

PROFESSION, Religious, conditions for 
validity 417; age for temporary 
vows sixteen, for perpetual and 
solemn vows twenty-one years 418; 
temporary vows must precede per 
petual or solemn 419 1 recording of 
421 ; privileges and obligations of 
the religious in temporary vows 
423-426; validation of invalid 
431 ; solemn dissolves the non- 



consummated marriage of Chris 
tians 962. 

PROHIBITION of books 1238-1248. (See 

PROMOTOR of justice, his part in the 
canonical trial 1381. 

PROMULGATION of law 8; of the 
laws of the Holy See by Ada 
Apostolicae Sedis 9; of. laws of 
Bishops 216. 

PROPAGANDA, Sacred Congregation of 
the has charge of all missions 
and vicariates and prefectures apos 
tolic 172. 

PROPERTY of churches, questions con 
cerning subject to the S. Congre 
gation of the Council 170. (See 

PROTECTOR, Cardinal, of a religious 
Order 344. 

PROTESTANTS, Sacraments cannot be 
given to unless they first re 
nounce their errors and are re 
ceived into the Church 574; condi 
tions under which infants of may 
be baptized in the Catholic Church 


PROVINCE, a union of several religious 
houses under one head 333, 6. 

PROXY, marriage by 932-934. 

PUBERTY, age of 65. 

PUBLICATION of names of candidates 
for major orders in their own 
parish-church 841. 

PUBLISHERS of certain books excom 
municated 1600, 2. 

QUASI-DOMICILE, how acquired 69; by 

a person becomes subject to local 

Ordinary and pastor 71. 
QUASI-PASTORS held equal to pastors 

296; are removable 299; appointed 

by local Ordinary 302. 

RAPE, impediment of marriage 917. 
REASON, use of necessary to make 

a person subject to the law 12. 
RECALL, Bishop has right to recall 

priests who are not excardinated 

and received permission to go out 
side the diocese 120. 

RECEPTION of Novices 398. 

RECONCILIATION of desecrated churches 

lOIQ & 1020. 

RECORDS, pastors obliged to keep par 
ish 315; of deceased parish 
ioners 1081. 

RECOURSE to the Holy See, if difficult, 
the Ordinary may dispense from 
the common law in particular cases 
58; from marriage impediments 

RECTORS of churches, who are 324; 
their appointment 325; have no 
parochial rights 326; their rights 
and duties 327-330; are removable 

REDUCTION of clerics to the lay-state 

RELATIONSHIP, spiritual, impediment 
of marriage 922. 

RELICS, questions of reserved to 
Congregation of Sacred Rites 173; 
making, selling, distributing bogus 
punished with excommunication 
1602, 5; small may be kept by 
private people, large ones not with 
out permission of Ordinary 1124 & 
1125; for public veneration in 
church 1126; what to do when 
document of authentication is lost 
1128; of the Holy Cross 1130 & 
1131; selling forbidden 1132. 

RELIGIOUS, S. Congregation of the, 
has charge of all religious com 
munities of any kind 171 ; in mis 
sionary countries subject to S. Con 
gregation of the Propaganda in 
reference to their missionary activi 
ty 172; pastors are removable, by 
whom they can be changed 299. 
Definition of state 332 ; definition 
of various terms 333 ; repeal of par 
ticular laws of by the Code 334 ; 
Canons speaking of religious in the 
masculine gender apply also to fe 
minine and vice versa 335; prece 
dence 336; erection of diocesan 



congregations 337 ; suppression of a 
religious organization 338 ; suppres 
sion of an individual house 343; 
obedience to the Roman Pontiff 
344; privileges of exemption 345; 
power of the superiors 346-348; 
qualifications of the superiors 349; 
term of office 350; manner of elec 
tion 351 & 352; report to Holy See 
on the status of the Order 355; 
visitation by the superior 356; ex 
tent of right of visitation by the 
bishop 357; administration of the 
Sacraments to the 359; titles of 
honor 360; board of consultors for 
the superiors, procurator for tem 
poral affairs 361 ; Procurator Gen 
eral for transactions between the 
Order and the Holy See 362; con 
fessors of the religious in clerical 
organizations 363 & 364; of sis 
ters 365-372; in laical Orders and 
congregations of men 373 & 374; 
manifestation of conscience must 
not be urged by superiors 375 ; tem 
poral goods and administration 376- 
382 ; admission into a community 
383; postulate 384-386; novitiate 
387-416; sisterhoods to inform 
bishop two months before reception 
or profession 397; renunciation of 
temporal goods and rights 414, 425- 
428; religious profession 417-431; 
studies in clerical organizations 432- 
436; duties of religious 437-457 J 
privileges 458-470; religious cannot 
be promoted to bishopric, or other 
office or dignity incompatible with 
the religious state, without permis 
sion of the Holy See 471 ; raised 
to the Cardinalate or episcopate 
472 & 473; appointed pastor of 
a parish 475 & 476 ; transition to an 
other Order 477-481 ; secularization 
483-490; dismissal incurred ipso 
facto by certain crimes 491 ; dis 
missal of religious in temporary 
vows 492 & 493; dismissal of a per 
petual professed in non-exempt 

clerical and in any lay Order 494- 
498; of religious in perpetual or 
solemn vows in clerical exempt re 
ligious bodies 499-513. Status of 
dismissed who had perpetual 
vows 514-517; in solemn vows 
cannot validly contract marriage 
916; get jurisdiction for confes 
sions of seculars from bishop 717; 
in clerical exempt Orders religious 
superior gives jurisdiction for his 
subjects 718; bishop cannot deprive 
all confessors of a religious com 
munity of the faculties 723 ; dimis- 
sorial letter for ordination 807-810; 
religious must obtain approval of 
site for church or public oratory 
1005 ; exempt have right to ceme 
tery of their own 1051 ; may keep 
Blessed Sacrament in church or 
oratory mo; religious in simple 
vows who marry without dispensa 
tions are excommunicated 1602, 9; 

in major orders who by their 
own fault make invalid profession 
are ipso facto suspended 1605, e; 

fugitives incur suspension 1606, 
b; superior who sends his subjects 
to another bishop for ordination 
against the law of the Code is sus 
pended for one month from saying 
Holy Mass 1607, f. 

RENEWAL of Vows 422. 

RENUNCIATION of temporal good? by 
novices 414; before solemn profes 
sion 425-427 ; before perpetual vows 
in congregations 428. 

REPORTS of bishop on state of the dio 
cese to be made to Consistorial 
Congregation 168; every five years 
221 ; of religious superiors to the 
Holy See 355- 

REPRIMAND, judicial, when to be given 


RESCRIPTS, when they take effect 37 ; 
conditions in a , how to be under 
stood 38; how they are invalidated 
by untruthful statement in the peti 
tion 39 ; errors in 42 ; when they 



have to be shown to the bishop 43 ; 
interpretation of 44 & 45; the 
execution of 46; revocation of fa 
vors granted by 47 ; invalidation 
of 48. 

RESERVATION of cases, papal cases 
737; how Ordinaries should make 
738; in religious Orders 739; 
bishop may not reserve to himself 
cases that are already reserved to 
the Holy See 741; faculty to ab 
solve from bishop s 742 ; circum 
stances under which all bishop s 
cease 743; priest pretending to ab 
solve from without faculties is 
suspended ipso facto from hearing 
confessions 1607, a. 

RESIDENCE, clergy forbidden to absent 
themselves from the diocese with 
out permission 119 & 310; bishop 
held to law of residence 219; loss 
of salary incurred by violating law 
of 1609, I . 

RESIGNATION of office, by Roman Pon 
tiff does not need acceptation by 
anyone 152; * of benefice or office 
by the clergy 1279. 

RESPECT which the clergy must show 
the Ordinary 103. 

RETREAT to be made by secular priests 
at least once in three years 102 ; by 
postulants before novitiate 386; be 
fore profession 416; to be made 
each year by the religious 440, I ; 
before minor and major orders 844. 

REVOCATION of laws contrary to Code 
6, 22 & 23; of customs 30; of fa 
vors granted by rescript 47. 

RIGHTS, acquired, under what condi 
tion they remain in force 4; of 
clerics 95-99; parochial 307; of 
rectors of churches 327-331. 

RITE, baptism decides to which a 
person belongs 75 ; matters touch- 
ing Oriental subject to the S. 
Congregation of the Oriental 
Church 177 ; child must be baptized 
in the of the father if he is a 
Catholic, unless special provision is 

made for some Rite 599; priest 
jnust use altar-bread of- his own 
wherever he celebrates 659; may 
celebrate in a church of a different 

if there is none of his own 666. 
Holy Communion may be received 
in any Catholic by the people, 
the Holy Viaticum must be received 
in one s own 709. Priests of 
Oriental may absolve Catholics 
of Latin and vice versa 748; 
cleric who received some orders in 
Oriental and obtains permission 
to receive further orders in the 
Latin must receive the orders 
which are not given according to 
the Oriental 847; marriage of 
persons of different to be wit 
nessed by pastor of husband 940. 

ROMAN Pontiff, see Pontiff. 

ROMAN Curia consists of the S. Con 
gregations, Offices and Tribunals at 
Rome 162-165. 

SACRAMENTALS, definition 987; Holy 
See alone can constitute new 988; 
the minister 989; consecrations can 
be performed by bishop or by a 
priest with papal indult 990; 
may be administered to non-Cath 
olics 992; exorcisms 994-996. 

SACRAMENTS, S. Congregation of the, 
its rights and powers 169. 

SACRAMENTS, administration of several 

reserved to pastor 307 ; it is for 
bidden to minister the to heretics 
even if they are in good faith 574; 
Baptism, Confirmation and Orders 
can be received only once, in doubt 
they may be repeated conditionally 
575, besides the customary stole fees 
no charge can be made for the ad 
ministration of the 579; Baptism 
580-622 ; Confirmation 623-643 ; 
Holy Eucharist 644-712; Penance 
713-753; Extreme Unction 780-790; 
Holy Orders 791-854; Marriage 

SAINTS, veneration of 1119-1120; Pa- 



tron 1 121 ; new images of not 
to be made without approval of the 
Ordinary 1122; sacred images of 
great value cannot be given away 
or transferred without permission 
of the Ordinary 1124. 

SALARY, forfeiture of by neglect to 
keep residence and by neglect to 
take the oath for certain offices 

SALOON, clergy must not visit 114. 

Sanatio in radice of marriage 981-984. 

SCHOOLS, Catholic, children of Cath 
olics must be sent to 1215; 
bishop in particular cases to decide 
and give permission to attend non- 
Catholic - 1217; right of the 
bishop to inspect 1225. 

SCRIPTURE, Holy, original texts and 
ancient versions published by non- 
Catholics forbidden 1242, I ; also 
books concerning if published 
without ecclesiastical imprimatur 
1242, 5; permission in favor of 
theological students 1243. 

SEAL of confession 732 & 733; direct 
violation punished with excommuni 
cation reserved to the Holy See 
specialissimo modo 1599, 4 ; indirect 
violation to be punished with penal 
ties ferendae sententiae 1613, 10. 

SECKECY, officials of the Roman Curia 
held to in the affairs of their 
office 163. 

SECRETARIATE of Breves to Princes 
and of Latin Letters 184. 

SECRETARIATE of State, rights and du 
ties 183. 

SECULARIZATION, indult of a religious 
to live outside the religious house 
is twofold, temporary and perpetual 
483; temporary does not free the 
religious from the obligations of 
his state 484; perpetual separates 
him from his Order and frees him 
from the vows ; Apostolic indult re 
quired to receive him again, must 
make novitiate and profession over 

again 485; for diocesan congrega 
tions bishop can give secularization 
483; reception by the bishop of a 
secularized religious 486; positions 
and offices forbidden to a secular 
ized religious 487; religious who 
leave the community or are secu 
larized, or dismissed, cannot de 
mand payment for work done while 
in the community 488. 
SEMINARY, studies in a subject to 
S. Congregation of Seminary and 
University Studies 176; rector of 

not to hear confessions of the 
seminarians 734; right of the 
Church to have 1195; priests to 
promote vocations 1196; minor and 
major 1197; tax by whom to 
be paid 1198 and 1199; the board of 
administrators 1202; rector and 
other officials 1203; confessors 
1204; admission into 1206; philo 
sophical and theological studies of 
seminarians 1208; rector has paro 
chial rights over 1211. 

SENATOR, clergy not allowed to com 
pete for office of 115. 

SEPARATION of married people from 
bed and board 971-980. 

SHOWS, unbecoming or scandalous to 
be avoided by the clergy 116. 

Signatura Apostolica, highest court of 
appeal of the Church 179. 

SIMONY, definition of twofold species 
570 ; tacit agreement also considered 

571 ; simoniacal contract con 
cerning benefices, offices, dignities 
is invalid 572; in conferring of 
offices and benefices punished with 
excommunication ipso facto 1601, 
10; in ordination and administra 
tion of the Sacraments with sus 
pension 1605, b. 

SISTERS, religious with solemn vows 
who have privilege of exemption 
are subject to regular superior 345 ; 
election of superioress 351 ; term of 
office 350; bishop must visit their 



houses every five years 357 ; Sacra 
ments are administered to sisters 
of solemn vows by their confessor, 
in other sisterhoods by pastor or 
chaplain 359 and 374; what postu 
lants are held to the law of en 
closure 385; special jurisdiction 
needed to validly hear the confes 
sions of sisters in their houses 719. 

SOCIETIES, persons leading a commun 
ity life without religious vows 518- 
526. (See also Associations.) 

SODALITIES 552, subject to S. Congre 
gation of the Council 170. 

SOLICITATION, false denunciation of a 
priest punished with excommunica 
tion ipso facto 1600, ii ; those who 
neglect to denounce a priest guilty 
of this crime are ipso facto ex 
communicated 1603, 5; priest guilty 
of to be suspended 1613, 9. 

SPONSORS in Baptism 605-612 ; in Con 
firmation 636-640; spiritual rela 
tionship as impediment of marriage 
arises only from valid sponsorship 
at Baptism 922. 

STERILITY, no impediment to marriage 

STIPENDS for Masses subject to S. 
Congregation of the Council 170; 
laws concerning for Masses 667- 
687 ; lay persons who are unfaithful 
in the handling of are to be ex 
communicated 1611 ; clerics trading 
with or retaining unjustly part 
of are to be suspended 1613, 4. 

STOLE FEES, right of the pastor to , 
the poor shall receive services free 

STUDIES, the priests must not neglect 
after ordination 105; rights and 
powers of the S. Congregation of 
Seminary and University Studies 
176; regulations for in clerical 
religious organizations 432-43$; in 
seminaries 1207 & 1208. 

SUBDEI.EGATION, when it can be given 

SUPERIOR, rules for action of when 
the law demands consent or counsel 
of other persons 82; General of 
clerical exempt Orders to be called 
to General Council 154, 4; major 
of clerical exempt religious to be 
invited to Provincial Council 196; 
who are major religious 333, 8; 
power of government of religious 

346-348; qualifications of major 

3491 term of office of major and 
minor 350; election of 351. 

SUPPLIED jurisdiction, when and how 
the Church gives 140. 

SUPPRESSION of religious hjuses of 
various Orders and congregations 
343 ; of church societies and con 
fraternities 544. 

SURGERY, the clergy not allowed to 
practice 115. 

SUSPENSION, rules for inflicting ex 
informata conscientia 1470-1478; de 
finition of 1562; various kinds 
1563; from benefice 1564; what is 
forbidden by 1567 ; when are for 
bidden acts invalid 1568; effects of 

of a community or college 1^69; 
list of incurred ipso facto 1605- 
1607; ferendae sententiae 1613. 

SUSPICION of heresy for certain of 
fences 1616. 

SYNOD, diocesan, to be held every ten 
years 237 ; convocation 238 ; persons 
to be called 239; those called can 
not send substitute 240 ; proceedings 
at the 241-243. 

TAXES, diocesan, subject to S. Con 
gregation of the Council 170; for 
maintenance of Seminary 1198 and 
1199; for the caihedraticum 1298; 
extraordinary for diocesan needs 
1299 and 1300; for dispensations 
899 and 1301 ; for funerals 1077. 

TEACHING authority of the Church 
1165-1167; sin of heresy 1168. 

THEATRES, unbecoming shows in thea 
tres to be shunned by the clergy 116. 



TERRITORIAL laws, if particular, do not 

oblige outside the territory 8. 
TERRITORY of dioceses, how to be di 
vided into parishes 147; pastor can 
assist at marriage only in the of 
his parish 938, 2. 

TESTIMONIALS which religious candi 
dates must exhibit before reception 
into novitiate 389-391 ; of candidates 
for ordination 836-838. 
THEOLOGIANS invited to General Coun 
cil have merely consultive vote 154. 
THIRD Orders Secular, definition 547 ; 
right to establish given by papal 
indult to some Order 548; bishop s 
consent necessary for erection of a 
congregation of , individuals may 
be received without bishop s permis 
sion 548; religious of any kind 
cannot be members of 549; no 
person can be a member of two 
different 550. 

TIME, manner of reckoning 31-35 1 
for observance of ecclesiastical fast ; 
Divine office, fast and abstinence 
any recognized way of figuring 
may be followed 33; tempus utile 
and tempus continuum 35; time of 
novitiate 400; --in which Holy 
Mass must be said for stipends 677 ; 
for gaining of indulgences on 
certain days 766 ; for Confession 
and Communion to gain an indul 
gence 774- 

TITLE of Ordination for seculars 822 
and 824; for religious 825; of 
honor in religious Orders 360 ; aca 
demic titles or degrees which are 
recognized in the Church can be 
Holy See 1220; of a church ion ; 
of a Basilica 1023. 
TITULAR Bishops may be called to 
General Council 154; cannot exer 
cise jurisdiction in church of their 
title 229; their privileges 230; 
feast of a church ion. 
TONSURE, First, by reception of which 
a person is installed in the ranks 
of the clergy 85; can be given any 

day 849; by a cleric is incardi- 
nated into a diocese 88; shall not 
be given until after commencing 
course of theology 819. 
TRANSACTION or settlement of dispute 

without canonical trial 1351-1354. 
TRANSITION to another religious Or 
der cannot be made without per 
mission of the Holy See 477 ; vows 
in new Order or congregation 
479; status of newly professed 480; 
9 of solemn professed to congrega 
tion with simple vows 481. 
TRIALS, canonical, in criminal cases 
1359; accusation and denunciation 
1360-1364; inquisition or investiga 
tion concerning offences 1365-1372; 
reprimand of delinquent 1 373- 1 379; 
construction of criminal 1380- 

UNBAPTIZED persons not subject to 
merely ecclesiastical laws 12; mar 
riage with null and void 913 and 

UNCTION, Sacrament of Extreme, how 
to be administered 780. The Min 
ister : must be a priest, reserved to 
pastor 781 ; obligation of pastor to 
administer 782. The Recipient : 
must have reached the years of 
discretion and be in danger of death 
through illness or old age, cannot 
be repeated in the same illness 783 ; 
if in doubt whether a person is fit 
subject it may be given conditionally 
784; cannot be given to those who 
stubbornly persevere in mortal sin, 
if in doubt it may be given condi 
tionally 785 ; what to do with those 
who are unconscious 786 ; obligation 
to receive 787. Rites and Cere 
monies: Holy Oil of the sick must 
be properly blessed 788; not to be 
kept in a private house without per 
mission of the bishop 57 and 789; 
permission to use short formula 
with one anointing in cases of 



necessity, the other anointings must 
be made later if person does not 
die immediately 790. 

UNIONS, Pious, subject to S. Congre 
gation of the Council 170; regula 
tions concerning Pious 552-568. 

UNIVERSITY, studies subject to S. Con 
gregation of Seminary and Uni 
versity Studies 176; erection of 
Catholic reserved to the Holy 
See 1219; clerics to be sent to 
1223; religious sent to or other 
seat of learning must board in a 
house directed by the clergy 432; 
privileges of Doctors of a Catholic 

UTENSILS, Sacred, to be kept with due 
respect 1139 and 1140; belonging 
to deceased Cardinals 1141; to de 
ceased Bishops 1142; to pastors 
1143; Cardinals, bishops, rectors of 
churches to safeguard the rights of 
the Church in reference to be 
longing to the Church 1144 and 
1145. Cathedral church must fur 
nish bishop with necessary for 
the sacred functions 1146; if a 
church is very poor, a small fee may 
with the authority of the bishop be 
charged to extern priests for use of 
the - - 1146; faculty to bless 
1147; when lose their blessing or 
consecration 1148; washing of 

VACANCY, offices should not be kept 
vacant for a long time 124; no 
changes must be made during of 
bishopric 281 ; during of parish 
vicar to be appointed by bishop 317. 

Vacatio Legis, papal laws begin to 
bind three months after their publi 
cation in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 9. 

VACATION, of Bishops 219; of pastors 

Vagi, who are meant by the term and 
how they are held to particular 
laws of places 14, birth-place of 
children of 67, pastor not to 

assist at marriage of without 
referring case to bishop 875. 
VALIDATION of marriage invalid for 
reason of a diriment impediment by 
dispensation and renewal of con 
sent of party conscious of invalidity 
976 and 977 ; if impediment is public 
consent must be renewed in legal 
form 978; (consult 880 on public 
and occult impediments), how mar 
riage invalid for want of consent 
is to be validated 979; if the pre 
scribed form was wanting marriage 
must be contracted in the legal 
form 980; in more urgent cases 
bishop may dispense with almost all 
impediments, also after marriage 
was contracted 888; validation of 
marriage by sanatio in radice re 
served to the Holy See 981-984. 

VALIDITY of the Sacrament of Orders 
and of marriages can be brought 
before the S. Congregation of the 
Sacraments 169. 

Viaticum reserved to pastor 307, 3; 
obligation in danger of death, may 
be received for several days in suc 
cession 707; shall not be delayed 
too long 708. 

VICAR Apostolic, if a consecrated 
bishop, has the same rights as the 
bishop in reference to ordination 

VICAR Capitular cannot give letters of 
incardination and excardination ex 
cept one year after vacancy of 
bishopric 90; his rights and duties 
when bishop is exiled 274; trans 
ferred, dies, resigns 275 ; his appoint 
ment and qualifications 277-279; his 
powers 280-286; removal, expira 
tion of office 288; accountability to 
new bishop 289. 

VICAR General, dispensation refused 
by cannot validly be granted by 
the bishop unless he is told of the 
refusal of the , vicar cannot val 
idly grant favors refused by the 



bishop 41 ; needs special mandate 
of the bishop in the following cases : 
to give letters of excardination and 
incardination 90; to convoke a syn 
od 238; appoint pastors 300; give 
consent for erection of societies and 
confraternities 531 ; cannot reserve 
cases though he can give jurisdic 
tion for confessions 736; dispense 
with the banns of marriage 947; 
consecrate sacred places 998; erect 
a new church 1005; authenticate 
relics 1126. Bishop freely appoints 
247 ; qualifications of 248 ; his 
jurisdiction 249 and 250; precedence 
in the diocese 251 ; expiration of 
jurisdiction 252. 

VICAR, parochial, has pastoral rights 
296; attends to parochial duties in 
the name of the Chapter or religious 
community 297; to be appointed 
where a religious community has 
charge of a parish, nominated by 
the superior 316; during the va 
cancy of the pastorship 317; has 
full parochial rights during absence 
of pastor 319. 

VIOLENCE against Cardinals, Papal 
Legates, Patriarchs, Bishops pun 
ished with excommunication 1600, 
8 ; _ against any cleric or religious 
punished with excommunication re 
served to the Ordinary 1602, 6. (See 

VISIT ad limina to be made by the 
bishop 223. 

VISITATION of the diocese when and 
how to be made 224-227; of the 
religious houses by their superiors 
356 ; by the bishop 357 ; how to be 
conducted 358. 

VOCATION, pastors and other priests 
should promote to the priesthood 

VOLUNTARY jurisdiction, how it can 
be exercised 132 ; not suspended by 
recourse of subject to higher supe 
rior 135. 

VOTING, rules for in religious com 
munities and other legal bodies 78. 

Vows, definition 1150; various kinds 
1151 ; reserved 1152; annulling of 

H55; dispensation 1156; commu 
tation 115^; made before entering 
religious community are suspended 
1158. Conditions for validity of re 
ligious 417 and 418; temporary 

must precede perpetual and so 
lemn in all Orders and congre 
gations 419; superior may prolong 
period of temporary not over 
three years 419; renewal of at 
the expiration of temporary may 
be anticipated for one month 422; 
privileges and duties of religious in 
temporary 423-425 ; at expiration 
of temporary the religious is free 
to return to the world 482 ; refusal 
of superior to let the religious re 
new 482; dismissal of religious 
in temporary 492 and 493; dis 
missal of religious with perpetual 

in non-exempt clerical and in all 
laical organizations 494-498; dis 
missal of religious with perpetual 
or solemn vows in clerical exempt 
religious organizations 499-513- 
WEEK, a period of seven days 32. 
WITNESSES, the clergy must not act as 

in criminal cases in secular courts 
jje;; in marriage cases 1400 and 

WOMB, the fetus may be baptized in 
the mother s only when there is 
no hope that the child can be born 
alive 589 and 590. 

WOMEN, clergy must avoid all suspi 
cious dealings with and observe 
the rules of law concerning liv 
ing in the rectory 109. 

WORSHIP, Divine, various kinds of 
cult 1098; public and private 
1009; Catholics forbidden to take 
active part in the of non-Cath 
olics 1101; prayer and religious ex- 


ercises held in any church or oratory WRITING, appointment to any office 

subject to bishop s approval 1102; should be done in 126. 

Divine services governed solely by YEAR, period of three hundred and 

the authority of the Church 1103; sixty-five days 32; year of novitiate 

how men and women should assist figured in such a way that the first 

1105. day does not count 34, 3. 



The elections in religious Orders and Congregations must, 
according to Canon 507, be conducted in accordance with the 
rules of the Code laid down in Canons 160-182, observing also 
the particular regulations for elections contained in the Con 
stitutions of the religious organizations, provided they are not 
contrary to the laws of the Code. It will, therefore, be of 
value to religious organizations to find here in detail the rules 
which the Code prescribes for ecclesiastical elections. (Cf 
Canons 504-507, Nos. 349-352.) 

The election of the Roman Pontiff is solely governed by 
the Constitution of Pope Pius X. "Vacante Sede Apostolica," 
Dec. 25, 1904, given in full in the Appendix to the Latin Code. 

In other elections the rules of the following Canons are 
to be observed as also any particular laws which may have been 
legitimately passed for the election to certain offices. Regarding 
such particular laws, however, Canon 6, 1 of the Code rules 
they are abolished in those points in which they are contrary 
to the law of the Code. (Canon 160.) 

If a college, or body, of men or women has the privilege 
to elect a person to a vacant office, the election must not be 
delayed for more than three months from the time notice was 
received of the vacancy of the office. The term three months 
is here called trimestre utile, which means that there must have 
been a possibility for the election. If, therefore, for reason 
of war or other causes an election cannot take place within that 
time, the electors do not lose the right to vote. If without such 
good reason the electors let the time go by without coming to 
an election, the ecclesiastical superior who has the right to con 
firm the election, or to provide in case of invalid election, has 



the right to freely appoint some one for the vacant office. 
(Canon 161.) 

Saving particular regulations and customs for the con 
vocation of the voters, the president of the election shall sum 
mon the voters in the usual form to a place and at a time 
convenient to the voters. If the particular regulations demand 
that the invitation to the election be given to each voter indi 
vidually, it is sufficient for the validity of the convocation if 
the notification is sent to the domicile, or quasi-domicile, or 
actual residence, of the voters. 

If more than one-third of the voters was not called, the 
election is ipso jure null and void. If those not called are 
nevertheless present at the election, the lack of convocation does 
not invalidate the election. 

If there is question of election to an office which the elected 
holds for life, the convocation of the voters before the vacancy 
of the office has no legal consequence. (Canon 162.) 

If the convocation has been legally made, only those present 
on the appointed day have the right to elect, and voting by letter 
or by proxy is excluded unless a particular law rules otherwise. 
(Canon 163.) If one and the same person has the right to 
vote under several titles, he can cast but one vote. (Canon 164.) 
No one outside the college of voters can be admitted to cast a 
vote, saving lawfully acquired privileges, otherwise the election 
is ipso facto null and void. (Canon 165.) If laymen interfere 
in any way in the election against the canonical freedom of the 
election, the election is ipso facto null and void. (Canon 166.) 

The following persons cannot cast a vote: 

1. Persons incapable of a human act. 

2. Persons under the age of puberty. 

3. Persons suffering from censure or infamy of law, if 
such censure or infamy has previously been announced by a 
declaratory or condemnatory sentence of an ecclesiastical judge. 

4. Persons who have publicly joined an heretical or schis- 
matical sect, or publicly adhere to such. 

5. Persons deprived of active vote either through legal 
sentence of a judge, or by the common or particular law. 

If any of the aforesaid persons are admitted to the voting, 
their vote does not count but the election is valid unless it is 


certain that the elected would without the illegal vote not have 
the required number of votes, or a person excommunicated by 
a declaratory or condemnatory sentence has knowingly been 
admitted to the vote. (Canon 167.) 

If any of the voters is present in the house in which the 
election takes place but cannot take part in the election on ac 
count of ill health, his written vote shall be obtained by the 
tellers, unless particular laws or legal customs provide other 
wise. (Canon 168.) 

The casting of the vote is null and void unless it is: (1) 
free; wherefore a vote is null and void if the voter was forced, 
by grave fear or deceit, either directly or indirectly, to cast his 
vote for a certain person, or for several persons separately; (2) 
secret, certain, absolute, determined. 

The vote must be unconditional, wherefore any conditions 
attached to it are to be ignored. (Canon 169.) No one can 
cast validly a vote in his own favor. (Canon 170.) 

Before the election at least two tellers from among the 
voters are to be appointed by secret vote, unless they are ap 
pointed by the proper statutes of the organization. The tellers, 
and also the president if he also is one of the college of electors, 
must take the oath to faithfully discharge their office, and to 
keep secret the transactions in the assembly even after the com 
pletion of the election. 

The tellers shall with proper diligence take care that the 
votes arc cast by each of the voters secretly, singly and in the 
order of precedence. After all the votes have been cast, they 
shall before the president of the election, and in the manner pre 
scribed in their own proper constitutions or by legitimate cus 
tom, ascertain whether the number of votes corresponds to the 
number of voters, they shall open the ballots and make known 
how many votes each candidate received. 

If the number of votes is larger than the number of voters 
the voting is null and void. 

The ballots are to be burned immediately after each voting, 
or after the session if several votings were held in the same 

All proceedings of the election shall be accurately recorded 
by the one who acts as secretary, to be subscribed at least by 


the same secretary, the president and the tellers, and the minutes 
shall be carefully preserved in the archives of the college. 
(Canon 171.) 

Unless the law rules otherwise, the election may be held 
also by compromise, if the voters by unanimous and written 
consent agree to transfer for that one election the right of 
election into the hands of one or several qualified persons of the 
college of voters, or also of outsiders, who shall by the power 
thus received perform the election in the name of all. 

If there is question of a clerical college of voters, the per 
sons chosen by compromise must be priests, otherwise the elec 
tion is null and void 

The persons appointed by compromise must, under pain of 
nullity of the election, observe the conditions attached to the 
compromise, if they are not against the common law. If no 
conditions were attached they must observe the common law 
regulating elections; conditions against the law, however, are 
considered as though not added. 

If the voters by compromise appointed only one person, 
this one cannot elect himself; if several were designated, no one 
of these can add his vote to that of the others who vote for 
him in order to make his election complete, that is, to obtain the 
necessary majority of votes. (Canon 172.) 

The compromise ceases and the right of election is returned 
to the voters: (1) by recall of the college of voters before the 
persons appointed by compromise have commenced to make use 
of their right; (2) if one of the conditions of the compromise 
did not come true or was not adhered to; (3) if the election 
was indeed held but invalidly. (Canon 173.) 

The person who obtained the majority of votes, as pre 
scribed by Canon 101 (Cf. No. 78), is considered elected and 
is to be proclaimed as such. (Canon 174.) The election is to 
be made known at once to the person elected, and within eight 
days at the most from the time he received the information he 
must declare whether he accepts the election or not ; otherwise he 
loses every right acquired by the election. (Canon 175.) 

If the one elected renounces his election, he thereby forfeits 
all rights acquired by the election, though he should afterwards 
revoke his renunciation. He can, however, be again elected. 
The college of voters must proceed with a new election within 


one month from the date on which they receive notice of the 
renunciation of the person first elected. 

By the acceptance of the election the one elected obtains 
full rights immediately if he does not need any confirmation; 
otherwise he only acquires a jus ad rem. 

Before confirmation has been received, the one elected is 
not allowed under the pretext of election to assume the office 
of administration, either in spiritual or temporal affairs, and 
any acts he might in the meantime have executed are null and 
void. (Canon 176.) 

The person elected must, if he needs confirmation of the 
election, ask for it, either himself or through another, from 
the competent superior within eight days, otherwise he loses all 
rights, unless he can prove that he was prevented by some just 
impediment from asking for the confirmation. 

The superior who has ascertained that the person elected is 
qualified, and that the election has been conducted according to 
the rules of law, cannot withold confirmation. The con 
firmation must be given in writing. With the confirmation the 
one elected obtains full rights to the office, unless the law rules 
otherwise. (Canon 177.) 

If the election was not completed within the prescribed 
length of time, or if the college of voters has as a penalty been 
deprived of the right to hold the election, the free appointment 
to the office devolves on the superior who would have had the 
right to confirm the election, or who succeeds in the right of 
making provision for the office in question. (Canon 178.) 


If the election of the person whom the voters think most 
capable and preferable, is obstructed by some impediment on 
part of that person, and if the impediment is of a nature that it 
can be, and usually is, dispensed from, the voters can by their 
votes request the competent superior to allow this person s elec 
tion, unless the law decrees otherwise, even if there is question 
of an office for which the elected person does not need con 
firmation. In the elections made by Religious, Canon 507 rules 
that election by postulation can be admitted only in extraor- 


clinary cases and only if not forbidden by the constitutions of 
the particular religious organization. 

The persons appointed by compromise of the voters to 
make the election, cannot postulate unless this is explicitly 
granted to them in the mandate or compromise. (Canon 179.) 

In order that the postulation be valid the majority of votes 
must be in favor of it, and if it concurs with the election there 
must be at least two-thirds of the votes in favor of postulation. 
The vote for postulation must be expressed by the term postulo, 
or its equivalent ; the formula eligo vel postulo, or an equivalent 
one, stands for election if there be no impediment, otherwise for 
postulation. (Canon 180.) 

The postulation must be forwarded within eight days to 
the superior who has the power to confirm the election if he has 
also the power to dispense from the impediment; otherwise to 
the Roman Pontiff or to another authority having the needed 

If the postulation was not sent to the superior within the 
prescribed time, it shall be ipso facto null and void, and the 
voters lose for this one election the right to elect or postulate, 
unless they can prove that they were prevented by a just im 
pediment from forwarding the postulation. By the postulation 
the person named for the office does not acquire any right, and 
the superior may reject the postulation. After the presentation 
of the postulation to the superior, the voters cannot recall it 
except with the consent of the superior. (Canon 181.) 

If the postulation was rejected by the superior, the right 
of election is restored to the college of voters, unless the voters 
knowingly postulated a person who was affected by an impedi 
ment of such nature that the dispensation could not be, or usually 
is not granted, in which case the provision for the office belongs 
to the superior. 

If the postulation is approved, the person thus elected for 
the office is to be notified and he must within eight days answer 
whether or not he accept the appointment to office. If he ac 
cepts, he thereby immediately acquires full right to the office in 
the same manner as a person whose election is confirmed. 
(Canon 182.) 


1. Fast and Abstinence on Holidays of Obligation. The 

Pontifical Committee for the authentic interpretation of the 
Code answers to the bishops of France that the obligation of 
fast and abstinence is not removed if some of the holidays of 
obligation of the Universal Church which have been abolished 
for France should fall on a day of fast or abstinence. Canon 
1252 is therefore to be understood only in reference to holidays 
which are actually of obligation in a country. (Cf. No. 1095.) 

2. Application of Holy Mass on Sundays and Holi 
days. The Code in Canons 339 and 466 rules that the 
bishops and pastors must apply Holy Mass for the people on 
Sundays and holidays, also suppressed holidays. The Holy See 
was requested to explain what days are meant by suppressed 
holidays. The answer is that in this matter nothing has been 
changed by the Code in the discipline of the Church hitherto in 
force. It has been stated repeatedly that by the holidays on 
which pastors and bishops must say Holy Mass for the people, 
are meant the feasts enumerated in the catalogue of Pope Urban 
VIII. (See No. 311 on page 79 in this book.) It is also quite 
certain from the wording of the Code that all pastors in the 
United States, and other countries not subject to the Propa 
ganda, are pastors in the strict sense of the term. Unless, there 
fore, the Holy See grants a dispensation in view of the difficulties 
under which many a pastor in the United States is laboring, the 
decision given here seems to settle the matter as far as the inter 
pretation of the law of the Code is concerned. 

3. The Number of Holidays of Obligation as fixed by 
the Code are the only days of obligation, and the Holy See 
answers that holidays of obligation kept in some country or 
diocese, by reason of particular laws, ancient custom or spec 
concession of the Holy See, are abolished as concerns the duty 
of hearing Holy Mass and abstaining from servile work. 
Canon 1247, No. 1090; Ada Ap. Sedis, Vol. X, p. 170. 1 



4. In reference to the Nuptial Blessing there are the 
following declarations: 1. Since the Ordinary can permit the 
nuptial blessing also during the closed seasons (Cf. Canon 1108, 
No. 951), the question arises whether and how the commem 
oration pro sponsis is to be said if the nuptial blessing is allowed 
by the bishop on Christmas or on Easter Sunday. The answer 
is that the oration is to be added under one conclusion to the 
oration of the day ; 2. To the question as to whether the votive 
Mass pro sponsis can be said during the closed seasons of Ad 
vent and Lent, the answer is that if the Ordinary for a good 
reason allows the solemn nuptial_blessing, the votive Mass can 
be said except on Sundays, feasts of precept, feasts of the I. and 
II. class, privileged octaves of the I. and II. order, privileged 
ferias and the vigil of Christmas; 3. To the question as whether 
the votive Mass pro sponsis can be said on the privileged vigils 
of Pentecost and the Epiphany, the answer is that on neither vigil 
can this Mass be said. (Cf. Ada Ap. Sedis, Vol. X, p. 332.) 

5. Term of Office of Religious Superiors. Canon 505 
rules that the term of office of local superiors shall be three years, 
or at most six, in the same house. The question was proposed 
whether this rule is to be applied also to superiors or directors of 
schools, hospitals, and other pious or charitable institutions. The 
answer is that the law in question must be applied also to these 
superiors if they are not only presidents, directors, etc., but at the 
same time superiors of the religious community. (Cf. No. 350.) 

6. Impediments of Ordination. By the law of Canon 
987, n. 5, men held to the ordinary military service, in countries 
where all able-bodied young men are subject to compulsory mili 
tary service, are forbidden to be ordained until they have served 
their term. The question was proposed to the Committee of the 
Code whether this prohibition holds, also if they are not yet of 
military age yet far enough advanced in studies to receive some 
orders, or if they have been called and examined and declared 
temporarily unfit. Furthermore, it was doubted whether this 
prohibition forbids reception of major orders only, or also of 
tonsure and the minor orders. The answer is that the prohibition 
holds in the proposed cases and for all orders. 

7. Betrothal Contract. It has been decided by the 
Committee that the unjustified breaking of a betrothal contract 


entitles only to a suit for damages, and that pending this suit 
marriage with a third party is not to be hindered by the pastor. 
Furthermore that the suit for damages spoken of in Canon 1017, 
3 is a matter of mixed forum, that is to say, suit can be brought 
either in the ecclesiastical or the civil court, at the option of the 
injured party. (Cf. No. 861.) 

8. Knowledge of Christian Doctrine of People about 
to marry. As the parties should, according to Canon 1020, 
know the Christian doctrine, it was asked whether in case of 
gross ignorance the pastor is to delay marriage. The Committee 
answers that the pastor should rather teach them the elementary 
points of Christian doctrine. If the parties refuse to come for 
instruction, assistance at their marriage should not be refused, 
as is clear from the ruling of Canon 1066. (Cf. Nos. 863 and 

9. Publication of the Banns and the Testimonium 
Libertatis. If it becomes very difficult to observe the law 
of Canon 1023 (Cf. 866) because the parties lived in various, 
very distant places, may the pastor resort to the supplementary 
oath tendered to the parties, so as to have certainty that they are 
not married already to some one else, or not held by other im 
pediments? The answer of the Committee is that in such cases 
the pastor is to refer the matter to his bishop, who may use his 
own judgment as to what proof is sufficient, and who may also 
demand the oath. 

10. Doubtful Impediment of Consanguinity. If illicit 
and secret intercourse had preceded the birth of a girl who is to 
be married, so that doubt arises whether she is perhaps a sister 
(natural or adulterous child) to the man, or his daughter in case 
of advanced years of the man, may marriage be allowed as long- 
as there is a reasonable doubt concerning these relations? 
Committee answers that Canon 1076, 3, decides these cases by 
forbidding marriage absolutely as long as these impediments ar. 
in doubt. 

11. Impediments of Marriage contracted before the 
Code came into force and now abolished. The Commit 
declares that engagement and marriage must be judged by 1 
laws in force at the time these contracts were made. Imped 
such as the fourth degree of consanguinity, third and four 
affinity, affinity from illicit intercourse, and others which have 


been abolished, cease to exist wherefore people who marry after 
Pentecost, May 19, 1918, are not held by these impediments 
though they had contracted them before the new law came into 
force. If, however, marriage was contracted before that date 
without a proper dispensation, the marriage is null and void and 
remains invalid, wherefore it must be validated either by dispen 
sation, or by sanatio in radice, like any other invalid marriage. 

12. Right of keeping the Blessed Sacrament in 
Churches and Chapels of Religious. The meaning of Canon 
1267 (Cf. No. 1110) is according to the declaration of the Com 
mittee of the Code as follows: If the religious house, or pious 
institute, has a public church, and the community uses the same 
for the ordinary daily religious exercises, the Blessed Sacrament 
is to be kept in that church only. If this is not the case, the 
Blessed Sacrament may be kept in the principal chapel or oratory 
of the religious house or institute without prejudice to the rights 
of the church, if it should be entitled by law to have the Blessed 
Sacrament as, for instance, a parochial church. If there are sev 
eral formally distinct and separate families in the same house or 
institution, each may have its own chapel with the Blessed Sacra 
ment, just like so many different religious houses or institutions. 

13. Clerical Societies without Vows. The Committee 
declares that the following Canons, about which there was some 
doubt, bind also the clerical societies without vows : Canon 2386 
which rules that a religious who becomes a fugitive is ipso facto 
deprived of any office he holds, and if a cleric in major orders he 
incurs suspension reserved to the major superiors of the religious 
organization. Canon 2387, which states that a religious cleric 
whose profession is invalid through wilful fault on his part, is to 
be put out of the clerical rank, if he is in minor orders, and if he 
is in major orders he is ipso facto suspended until the Holy See 
shall provide for him. Canon 2389 which rules that religious 
who seriously violate the law of common life prescribed by the 
constitutions, and do not amend after serious admonition, may 
be punished with privation of active and passive vote, and priva 
tion of office if they are superiors. Canon 2410 which imposes 
suspension for a month from the celebration of Holy Mass on a 
superior who unlawfully sends his subjects for ordination to 
another diocese, this Canon applies to societies without vows if 
they have the privilege to issue dimissorial letters. The law of 


Canon 2411 which demands that superiors be severely punished, 
not excluding privation of office, if they receive a candidate who 
does not have the requisite qualifications specified in Canon 542 
(Cf. No. 387) or without the testimonials demanded by Canon 
544 (Cf. No. 389), binds also clerical organizations without 
vows. Canon 2413 which rules that superiors who interfere in 
any way, directly or indirectly, with the visitation, or make it 
ineffective by influencing the subjects in any way, are to be de 
clared by the visitor incapable of being elevated to any office, and 
are to be deprived of the office they hold, besides other penalties 
which the constitutions may impose. (Acta Ap. Sedis, Vol. X, 
p. 347.) 

14. Latest Faculties of Bishops for Impediments of 
Marriage. By decree of the S. Consistorial Congregation, 
Aug. 2, 1918, the bishops of America, the Philippine Islands, 
the East Indies, Africa beyond the shores of the Mediterranean, 
and Russia, receive faculties for the period of the war to dis 
pense from the impediment of mixed religion and from all dir 
iment impediments of marriage except the priesthood and the 
affinitas in linea recta, consummate matrimonio. At the end of 
each year they shall make report to the S. Congregation of the 
Sacraments of the number and kind of dispensations which they 
have granted, and remit at the same time the fees due to the S. 
Congregation for the dispensations. (Acta Ap. Sedis, Vol. X, 
pag. 363.) 

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